Not sure who gets the better end of today’s submissions for the 2021 Spirited Holiday Countdown Calendar(s). Either way, I believe you are in for a treat as we dive into a couple of Single Barrel Bourbons that are strikingly similar, but different!

White Cap Edition – Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon

Who was Elmer T. Lee? Well, Elmer was a Master Distiller at Buffalo Trace Distillery through 1985. At which point he retired one year after developing a brand known as Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon. The first Single Barrel Bourbon product on the market in the US. It was released with very little fanfare, as people were more interested in vodka and cocaine in the 80s. Now, however, it is the most sought-after bourbon in the world. So, what is Elmer T. Lee Bourbon? It is homage bottling of a Single Barrel Bourbon that follows strict tasting guidelines so as to elicit a flavor profile that Elmer himself would have approved of. Elmer T. Lee is made from the same mash bill tree as Blanton’s so there are some striking similarities between the whiskies. The difference being proof. ETL is bottled at 90 Proof and Blanton’s is bottled at 93 proof.

  • Glass: Glencairn
  • Temperature: Room
  • Other Preparation: None
  • JJ’s VIP Price: $47.99/bottle
  • Available: None right now but may be on an upcoming bottle raffle.

Tom’s Tasting Note: Here is the funny thing about Elmer T. Lee. It’s not very expensive, and there is a reason for that. It was supposed to be a single barrel bourbon for the masses, and that has not been the case of late. Trading on the secondary black whiskey market for anywhere from $250-$1000 per bottle, bourbon hunters are trying to acquire what they can and flip them for big dollars. This is a smooth sipper with loads of caramel and spice notes. Full-bodied with a lengthy finish of spice and vanilla.

Black Cap Edition – Blanton’s Single Barrel – JJ’s 3rd Edition

Speaking of Blanton’s. Here is a taste from our most recent (January 2020) JJ’s Single Barrel of Blanton’s! This is truly a treat as there isn’t any left in the world, but for a couple of bottles in my personal stash.

  • Glass: Glencairn
  • Temperature: Room
  • Other Preparation: None
  • JJ’s VIP Price: $59.99/bottle
  • Available: No

Tom’s Tasting Note: I love all of our single barrels, much like I love all of my children (home and work). I just like some more than others (we won’t say who.) Blanton’s, truthfully, is not my favorite bourbon, except in a single barrel. The barrels we pick have a level of depth in the character that is fairly remarkable. This is because when we pick a barrel of Blanton’s, we try to find the barrel strength character even when it is proofed down to 93. Loads of caramel, vanilla and viscosity. This is a mouthful of whiskey. Sorry the sample is so small. If you happen to have a bottle of this at home and haven’t opened it yet, you should!