In honor of what would have been Elmer T. Lee’s 100th birthday, Buffalo Trace Distillery announced the release of a 100 proof commemorative bottling of Elmer T. Lee 100 Year Tribute Single Barrel Bourbon. Lee earned an engineering degree from the University of Kentucky and went on to create the single-barrel bourbon Blanton’s, and become one of the most celebrated Master Distillers, the company says. Proceeds from the bottle sales will go to Frankfort VFW Post 4075, where Lee was a member until his death in 2013. The whiskey is a limited-edition, one-time only release with the same age and mashbill as the standard Elmer T. Lee, but bottled at 100 proof. The bourbon has the classic taste that Lee would have loved, with a nose of maple syrup up front, a taste of creamy vanilla with berries, and a long finish of coffee, toasted oak and vanilla, the company says. Lee joined Buffalo Trace (then known as the George T. Stagg Distillery) in 1949 and eventually was named general manager. He worked at the distillery until retirement. “What Elmer did for American whiskey is hard to grasp in today’s terms, but in 1984, bourbon was in the doldrums and sales were low,” said Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace’s current master distiller, in a statement. “Elmer took a big risk creating a single-barrel bourbon, but he hoped it would generate new interest in bourbon and revive the industry. At first Blanton’s wasn’t popular, and Elmer feared it may not take off. But today, I think it’s safe to say Elmer made a wise move.”