FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Longtime Kentucky bourbon maker Elmer T. Lee, who introduced a single-barrel bourbon brand that helped spark the industry's comeback, has died at age 93.
Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort says Lee died Tuesday after a short illness. He held the title of master distiller emeritus at Buffalo Trace.
Lee's most notable contribution to the bourbon industry came in 1984, when he introduced Blanton's, a single-barrel bourbon brand. The introduction sparked a trend toward small-batch bourbons that revived the industry.
Lee began working in the engineering department of the George T. Stagg Distillery in 1949. In 1966 he was promoted to plant superintendent and became plant manager three years later. The Stagg facility eventually became the Buffalo Trace Distillery.
Lee retired in 1985 but continued to serve as Buffalo Trace's ambassador.
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