Today, the bourbon world lost an innovator and a legend. I'm not going to eulogize the man, I never met him. I know him as the guy who introduced us to the idea of the regularly released single barrel bourbon, but that's it. I've had his namesake bourbon. It's quite tasty.
The passing of a legend is sad. You realize that even though you know the barest minimum about the person, there are a lot of people to whom he was dad, brother, grandpa, uncle, mentor, coworker or friend. It's those people who are really feeling the effects of the loss.
Tonight I stopped by my liquor store to buy a bottle of Elmer T. Lee single barrel. It seemed like the right thing to do to honor the man. While I was there, they had a bottle open behind the tasting bar. We stood there for a little bit, toasted Elmer's memory and talked bourbon for about a half hour. I've been talking to the guy who works there for a while now. I brought him a sample of Russell's Reserve Single Barrel because he'd mentioned he'd never had it. It reminded me that whisky has a way of bringing friends together. And the great news is that whisky friends don't have to be people you've ever met in "real life." Because, if you haven't met them by now, you probably will someday. And we all know that. So why get hung up on the minor detail just because life's happening out of order.
I'd like to take this time to thank my whisky friends: Keith and Nicole, (@KeithB18 and @ndsteckman), G-LO (@boozedancing), Coop (@cooperedtot), Josh Wright (@sipologyblog), Jordan Devereaux (@cocktailchem), Johanne McInnis (@Whiskeylassie), Matt Wunderle (@mattwunderle), Draper Pryce (@Draper_Pryce), Paul Jahn (@paulj), Mike McCarron (@GamleOde), Paul and Mary Beth (@MBRDISTILLERY) and so, so many others both on twitter and off.
Thank you all for keeping whisky fun and interesting, each and every day. I raise this glass of Elmer T. Lee to all of you.