I had another pour of Elmer T. Lee last night, and I have nothing new to add to my previous impressions of its character or quality. I like it, and I'm fairly certain that Ben wouldn't: lots of vanilla and caramel flavors and aroma, not much in the way of char and wood. You will recall that Elmer T. Lee is the master distiller emeritus of Buffalo Trace and that this bottling is Buffalo Trace's tribute to him. It's priced and marketed like a baby Blanton's -- Buffalo Trace's super-premium offering. I don't know how much like Blanton's Elmer T. Lee is because I haven't turned loose of the $45 necessary to purchase a fifth, but the two are made from the same mashbill and aged in the same warehouses. It would be interesting to see how similar the two are in character.
The picture to the right shows how Buffalo Trace currently packages this Bourbon. The bottle that I have is in the original packaging, the only difference being that mine was sealed with gold wax rather than gold-painted aluminum foil. There has been something of an explosion of wax-sealed Bourbons in recent years, imitating, I would assume, Maker's Mark, which seals their bottles with that distinctive red wax. Just off the top of my head, I can think of the old Elmer T. Lee, Baker's, Knob Creek, the various Black Maple Hill bottlings, some bottlings of AH Hirsch, and Evan Williams Single Barrel. I will admit that the wax looks cool, but it is annoying as hell to open. The fabric pull tabs that are embedded in the wax frequently don't work, and I end up having to chisel away the wax with a knife. I do not like it, Sam I Am. Well, evidently, Buffalo Trace realized the error of their ways, because they stopped sealing Elmer T. Lee with wax and started using the gold-painted aluminum foil. Not as cool-looking, but much more functional.