Whisky Advocate

Elmer T. Lee is turning 90. Wish him a Happy Birthday!

July 28th, 2009

elmerFor those of you who don’t know, Elmer T. Lee is  Master Distiller Emeritus of the Buffalo Trace Distillery, a true living legend, and man who has his own single barrel bourbon named after him. 

He is turning 90 years old in a couple weeks. There will be a small birthday party for him, and I’m flying down to be there for the party.

I thought it would be nice if I we could let him know how much we appreciate all that he’s done for the bourbon industry and wish him a Happy Birthday too. If you would like to say a few words, please post them below. I’ll bring your well wishes with me and give them to him when I see him.

Maybe you tried his bourbon and enjoyed it? Maybe you appreciate what Buffalo Trace has done over the years (even back when it was called Ancient Age Distillery)? Maybe you met him at a WhiskyFest and enjoyed his company?

Go ahead and say a word or two if you feel inclined. I’ll see that he gets your comments. Thanks!

42 Responses to “Elmer T. Lee is turning 90. Wish him a Happy Birthday!”

  1. Todd Phipps says:

    Happy Birthday Mr. Lee! Thanks for the superb whiskey, your namesake bottle is one of my favorite pours. May you enjoy your 90th in robust health among good friends and family. A toast to you, good Sir.

    Todd Phipps
    Mt. Horeb, WI

  2. Tony Menechella says:

    Happy Birthday Elmer, and THANK YOU for all you’ve done and contributed to the bourbon industry!! CHEERS!!

    Tony Menechella
    Frankfort, KY

  3. Kevin says:

    Happy Birthday indeed! My friends and I will be toasting you, your life and your career with a glass of your namesake bourbon. Congratulations on your 90 years and here’s to 90 more!

    Kevin Meng
    Pleasanton, CA

  4. Bill Dixon says:

    Hey! Happy 90th birthday, Elmer! I enjoy great bourbon and particularly like Buffalo Trace and Old Weller Antique 107. Unfortunately for me, your namesake bourbon isn’t distributed in Arizona, so I haven’t sampled any of that yet. Some day I will though. I’ve also enjoyed all your informative videos on the Buffalo Trace website.

    Best regards and many happy returns,
    Bill and Debbie Dixon

  5. BourbonJoe says:

    Happy Birthday to a fine Southern Gentleman and a great ambassador for bourbon, especially your namesake. Have a great birthday Elmer.

  6. From the city of Louisville, we wish Elmer T. Lee a Happy 90th Birthday…Cheers!

    -Just Add Bourbon

  7. Sean Kelley says:

    Thanks for making such fine whisky! Had a great visit there last month. The Buffalo Trace experience was the best.

  8. Fred Mozenter says:

    Happy Birthday Elmer!

    I apreciate everything you have done for the bourbon industry and Buffalo Trace Distillery. I am so happy you are coming in to th distillery again and, as a tour guide, it is great to say HI and talk to you on Mondays. You look great!!

    Fred Mozenter
    Frankfort, KY

  9. bgulien says:

    Mr. Lee, a word from the Netherlands.
    As I started out in the whisk[e]y world, I started with Bourbon and particular Buffalo Trace. So I have drank your creation.
    Also I have a 1/10 share of a Bruichladdich cask maturing in a … Buffalo Trace cask. So, need I say more of the unique taste of BT to which you contributed a lot.
    So Mr. Elmer T. Lee, may you celebrate your birthday with a healthy swig of your beloved drink.


  10. murphy says:

    Mr. Lee,
    We’ve never met but I’ve had the pleasure of sharing many a drink with you. Thanks for the great moments and wonderful memories. Enjoy your B-day!


  11. John Hansell says:

    Great comments so far guys. Keep ’em coming.

  12. Louis says:

    Happy Birthday, Elmer,

    Thank you for all of the wonderful bourbon that Buffalo Trace has produced.

    Louis Perlman
    New York City

  13. Joshua Neff says:

    Elmer, thank you for your wonderful work with bourbon, and I will make sure to have a pour of your namesake in celebration. Have a wonderful birthday!

    -Joshua Neff
    Minneapolis, MN

  14. Carl H. says:

    Mr. Lee,

    Happy Birthday and thanks for all the good whiskey. You do nice work.

    Carl Huffman
    Kansas City

  15. Joe Conner says:

    Mr. Lee, Happy Birthday, and may you have many more. Thanks for all the wonderful things you’ve accomplished at Buffalo Trace. Also, thank you for all the things you’ve done for the bourbon industry as a whole. I’ll be coming down to the KBF (again) this year, and I plan on touring Buffalo Trace again. Wouldn’t miss it for the world. Hope to see you there. It would do me nothing better than to raise a glass with you sir. Cheers Elmer. Many happy returns. Joe

  16. Sam S. says:

    Happy Birthday Mr. Lee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Wade Woodard says:

    Happy Birthday Elmer!

    I love your selection of Bourbon. Your bourbon is one of my favorites. It always the bourbon I suggest or give to someone who is new to bourbon – sweet, caramel, very easy to sip.

  18. Todd says:

    Meeting Elmer Lee at Whiskyfest several years ago was one of the all time greatest highlights I’ve had attending whisky events. I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to thank Elmer in person for all he has done for bourbon. Happy Birthday Elmer! I will raise a glass of one of my favorite bourbons, Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel (Binny’s 2006 bottling) tonight to toast your birthday.

    Best wishes, Todd

  19. Neil Fusillo says:

    Mr. Lee, I’ve only recently found a source of Buffalo Trace, but I have to say it’s incredibly good stuff. Cheers to you, sir, on a fine product, and have a wonderfully happy 90th birthday!

  20. ginsu says:

    Happy Birthday Mr. Lee!

  21. William Gaunce says:

    Happy Birthday and thank you from all in the bourbon industry for your efforts! Many happy returns.

    Bill Gaunce
    Versailles, KY

  22. Dan Alban says:

    Happy 90th Birthday, Elmer! It has been a great honor to meet you on a couple of occasions. Elmer T. Lee has long been one of my personal favorite bourbons. We straight bourbon enthusiasts are indebted to your many contributions to Ancient Age/Buffalo Trace. Thank you and please accept my best wishes on this milestone birthday!

    Dan Alban
    Arlington, VA

  23. John Hansell says:

    We dug up a picture of Elmer from our files. I included it in the posting. We like this one a lot.

  24. Josh Wright says:

    I don’t know what else I could say that hasn’t already been said, but thank you for all that you’ve done. Buffalo Trace and the whole American Whiskey industry are as great as they are because of your decades of hard work. Thank you and happy birthday!

  25. Happy Birthday Mr. Lee & many more. Buffalo Trace is one of the best values in the bourbon market and the Experimental Collection from Buffalo Trace is a revolutionary addition to the American Whiskey line. We are truly grateful for your accomplishments at Buffalo Trace. Cheers!!

  26. Ed Phalen says:

    A Glorious Occasion to open and drink from the single barrel selections that you assisted our group in picking.
    I’m learning to like Barrel “C” more and more.
    “To Elmer”
    “Here, Here”

  27. Paul Schroder says:

    Happy Birthday Mr. Lee You’ve done great things at BT you should be proud of your legacy. I’ll have a nice pour of WLW on your birthday.

  28. Dave Gonano says:

    Ed mentioned the single barrels our group selected a few years ago. Elmer did more than assist us, his two favorites were the barrels we chose to be bottled. I thank him again for helping along the process.

    “Happy 90th Elmer”, and many more!!

  29. Yannis says:

    Happy birthday, Elmer!

    My wife and I throughly enjoy Buffalo Trace, as well as your namesake bourbon. Both are wonderfully spicy and absolutely delicious. One day, we hope to make the trip to your wonderful distillery and enjoy all that your wonderful state has to offer.

    Once again, warm wishes for a wonderful birthday!

  30. Greg Kitzmiller says:

    Happy Birthday, Elmer T Lee. Glad you are feeling better after last winter!
    I still remember helping you break into your car after the Bourbon Festival Golf Outing back about 2001. It was great seeing you on July 29 this year too! Thanks for all you’ve done for the American Spirit — Greg K.

  31. Gary says:

    Happy Birthday Elmer!

    I am a big fan of your craft and thoroughly enjoy your bourbons. Continued success and all the best.

  32. DowntownD says:

    Happy Birthday Elmer!

    Your Bourbon is one of my absolute favorites, truly wonderful juice.

    Thanks for all of your hard work.

  33. mike karp says:

    have met you several times at whiskey events, and youo are a real gentleman and my wife thinks that you are the cutest thing going. Buffalo Trace has consistently been the most innovative of distilleries. Enjoy your birthday and know that you have made a real contribution to American culture

  34. NC Bourbon says:

    Reaching 90 is a milestone…and proof bourbon sampling is the key to longevity. Thanks for maintaining the exceptional flavor profiles of the Weller variations…and, of course, that extra special bottling with your mugshot on the bottle! Your contributions to the bourbon industry will outlive you…and that’s reason enough to celebrate the birthday of a man with no equal in his passion for good bourbon. Happy Birthday Elmer T!

  35. Paddy says:

    Elmer T, your bourbon is so good, it goes down singing hymns!

    Happy Birthday!

  36. Kendall Hawn says:

    Mr.Lee, Happy birthday.

  37. Mark Moriarty says:

    Happy Birthday Elmer! I hope that your 90th birthday was your best birthday yet.

    Mark Moriarty
    Frankfort, KY

  38. Paul Greene says:

    Happy Belated Birthday !!!

    I remember enjoying a dram with you during several Whiskey Fest NY shows

    God Bless your soul for working so many years in the Bourbon industry and having such an influence on such a great spirit that is part of my regular drinking regimen

    Cheers and many more years !!

    Paul Greene,
    Copiague NY

  39. Warren Lynn says:

    Yes! just found this site. Happy 90th year of your appreciated life!

    The Rev. Warren Lynn
    Indianapolis, Indiana

  40. Happy Birthday! Mr Elmer T Lee from Sweden.

  41. Joyce Lee Siddiqui says:

    My late father shared your name. His name was also Elmer T. (Turner) Lee from Miracle, Ky. My father was a former principal, and then, Supt. of Schools before his death in 1980. We would love to meet our famous Ky resident,Elmer T. Lee. Please let me know if there are any upcoming events where he may be found. Thanks so much.
    Joyce Lee Siddiqui

  42. ron Miller says:

    ET . . . Thanks for bringing a wonderful bourbon to the market place. LOVE IT!

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