Tag Archives | Member Spotlight

Meet The Bourbon & Banter Team

A little over 2 months ago I wrote a blog post entitled “Help Wanted: Seeking Bourbon Evangelists” and posted it here on Bourbon & Banter. I was looking for fellow bourbon lovers to help me write content for the blog and help spread the bourbon gospel over social media. I remember pressing “Publish” on the post and hoping that I would get at least 1-2 people willing to lend a hand.

You can imagine my surprise when 35+ people raised their hands expressing interest in becoming part of Bourbon & Banter. I was beyond thrilled. In fact, I was little humbled.

Over the course of several weeks I put everyone through their paces by having them answer detailed questions about their bourbon history, reasons for wanting to write and topics they were interested in focusing on. I eventually narrowed it down to 12 people, who were then asked to write a guest post for the blog. (View all the initial Guest Posts.) Unfortunately for me,  all of the guests posts were really well done and readers seemed to respond positively to all of them. What I mean by “unfortunately” is that it was going to make it really hard to pick just a handful of folks to join the Bourbon & Banter team.

So after another week of reviewing the posts in more detail, analyzing reader feedback, shares across social media and more than a few glasses of bourbon I made the decision to ask each of them to become part of our team.

Therefore, without any further banter, I’m pleased to introduce you to the new Bourbon & Banter Contributors.

Meet The Bourbon & Banter Team

 

As we head into Bourbon Heritage month tomorrow the team will be bringing you more of the bourbon content you love but with a wider perspective. Please check out each members’ bio and connect with them on Twitter over on our Meet The Bourbon & Banter Team section of the website.

I’m thrilled to have them on our team and look forward to working together to spread the bourbon gospel.

 

 

 

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Dennis Nelson – Bourbon & Banter Member Spotlight

It’s time for June’s Bourbon & Banter Member Spotlight.

June’s Member Spotlight features Dennis Nelson from Belleville, IL. I had the good fortune of meeting Dennis at a local Bourbon tasting almost a year ago. At that time I had just launched our Facebook presence and the idea of a Bourbon & Banter website hadn’t even entered my mind. Since then Dennis has been a regular contributor to our Facebook page and I truly appreciate his active role in spreading the bourbon gospel. I often find myself jealous of Dennis’ ability to locate rare bourbons “just sitting on the shelf” in random liquor stores. 

Please give Dennis a big welcome as we celebrate his love for Bourbon this month. (Or as the photo of his collection suggests…his “obsession” for Bourbon. Yes, I’m jealous of that as well.)

Dennis Nelson – Bourbon & Banter Member Spotlight

 

Name: Dennis Nelson
City: Belleville, IL
Favorite Bourbons:

Pappy Van Winkle 15 | Woodford Reserve Double Oaked | Parker’s Heritage Collection 27 Year | Rock Hill Farms | Blanton’s

Least Favorite Bourbons: I feel all non-flavored bourbons have a place and my least favorites would be those which are overpriced and, therefore, not a good value. I realize, of course, that is an individual determination.
How I Drink My Bourbon:  I always start drinking my bourbons neat. After an initial assessment I may add a splash of bottled water or an ice ball which I make with distilled water using the mold that Makers Mark sent me a couple of years ago.
What is it about bourbon that you enjoy the most?: Certainly the taste is important and I am always trying to recognize the tastes that the seasoned reviewers talk about. I also enjoy learning about and pondering the early days of bourbon making. But the thing I like best about bourbon is its ability to act as the thread which sews friends together allowing for a lively time of enjoyment, camaraderie, and discussion, aka banter.
How did you come to be a bourbon fan?:  I was an avid rum drinker until 2009 when I was attending a Friday night wine tasting at a liquor store in Edwardsville. I had heard of Pappy Van Winkle and spotted two bottles of the 15 year old on the shelf behind the man pouring the wine. Thankfully, I bought both of them, and so it all began. Then in the spring of 2010 I joined the Edwardsville Whiskey Society. Even though that group is no longer active, it opened the door to tasting many whiskeys, including bourbon which became my favorite.
What do you enjoy most about the Bourbon & Banter community?: An easy answer is that it keeps me off the street and out of trouble, but truth be known it is the banter part – knowing that you are part of a “global club” with a common interest, sharing information and opinions. It is not the same as sitting down and sharing a glass with friends, but itʼs not a bad substitute.

 

Dennis Nelson – Bourbon & Banter Member Spotlight

 

Want to be featured in our Member Spotlight? Drop us a note and let us know. If selected we’ll send you a few questions to answer and ask that you send us your photo and a photo of your current bourbon collection. Don’t be shy. Everyone needs at least 15 minutes of Bourbon Fame.

 

 

 

 

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Grant Johnson – Bourbon & Banter Member Spotlight

I’m a little behind in featuring another member of the Bourbon & Banter community. My apologies as clearly the bourbon drinking has gotten in the way of my focus. 

May’s Member Spotlight features Grant Johnson from Franklin, WI. Grant’s been a member of our community for a long time and is a frequent commenter and contributor on our Facebook page. He’s also the President & CEO of Johnson Direct, a direct marketing firm that does some pretty awesome work.

Please give Grant a big welcome as we celebrate his love for Bourbon this month.

BTW, if you know Grant personally and have some funny stories to share please leave them in the comments.

Grant Johnson – Bourbon & Banter Member Spotlight

Name: Grant A. Johnson
City: Franklin, WI (Yes, I’m a “Damn Yankee”)
Favorite Bourbons:

It’s a long list. I have had a lot, sampling many brands over the past 31 years.

Value – Eagle Rare | Old Grand Dad 114 | Rebel Yell

Mid-Priced – Elmer T. Lee | Buffalo Trace | Russell Reserve 10 | Woodford Double Oaked

High-End – Pappy 20yo | Blanton’s Gold | Blanton’s | W. H. Harrison Governor’s Reserve

Go-to choice – Elmer T. Lee (same mash bill as Blanton’s at 25% savings)

Note: Still quite a few to sample, so I reserve the right to update this list!

Least Favorite Bourbons: “Most Wanted”, anything with flavoring (Red Stagg and Evan Williams Honey are both dreadful) and Phillips.
How I Drink My Bourbon:  Typically on the rocks, but more neat and with stones as of late. I also enjoy an occasional bourbon old fashion, made of course with less expensive bourbon.
What is it about bourbon that you enjoy the most?: The deep, complex flavor and the way it makes me feel – it relaxes me. As a friend says, “It’s a snuggie in a bottle.” I love how each brand and each barrel can be unique and searching for the perfect bottle is a fun adventure. I like the anticipated feeling of opening a new bottle and comparing the taste to other bourbon’s I’ve tried.
How did you come to be a bourbon fan?:  When I was 18 I drank beer (still do) but was looking to try some new things. I started with 7&7, then moved to Jim Beam and Coke. I did try other things later like scotch (cough syrup) rum (not much variance in flavor), brandy (too sweet), tequila and gin (pine needles), but eventually found my way to the single barrel selections I most often enjoy today and drink bourbon almost exclusively. I guess I was a trendsetter at 18 based upon the popularity of bourbon today.
What do you enjoy most about the Bourbon & Banter community?: The group is made up of, um, kindred “spirits!” I enjoy the banter, meeting new friends and reading about how other’s enjoy their bourbon, what kinds and what they think of each selection they sample. I like to see what people love and hate so I can narrow down my future purchases. I do feel, as the group’s name suggests, that bourbon is the perfect spirit for sipping and enjoying intelligent conversation with friends and family and the two make an incredible pairing.

 

Grant Johnson – Bourbon & Banter Member Spotlight

 

Want to be featured in our Member Spotlight? Drop us a note and let us know. If selected we’ll send you a few questions to answer and ask that you send us your photo and a photo of your current bourbon collection. Don’t be shy. Everyone needs at least 15 minutes of Bourbon Fame.

 

 

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Steve Lewis | Bourbon & Banter Member Spotlight

The last six months have been an exciting time for Bourbon & Banter. Our Facebook community has grown significantly and we were able to launch our website just a few weeks ago. I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to our success.  Your posts, photos and stories are what B&B is all about. I’d like to launch a new feature for the website starting today – The Bourbon & Banter Member Spotlight.

To kick things off I’d like to introduce you to Steve Lewis. Steve has been an active voice in the community for quite a while. When he sent me the photos below I just knew I had to ask him to be our first member in the spotlight. I hope you enjoy this new feature. As always please share your feedback with us via the comments feature after the post.

Steve Lewis | Bourbon & Banter Member Spotlight

Name: Steve Lewis
City: Kennesaw, GA
Favorite Bourbons: Everyday – Buffalo Trace | 1792| Elmer T. Lee
Top Shelf – George T. Stagg | Pappy Van Winkle | Blanton’s 
Least Favorite Bourbons: I’m sure I’ve had bad bourbon; I just don’t remember when.
How I Drink My Bourbon:  Neat–always.  If it’s a high proof like GTS, WLW, or Bookers, I will
add a dram of water.
What is it about bourbon that you enjoy the most?: Since I learned that bourbon is best sipped and savored, and not as a
“shot”, I’ve learned to relax and enjoy my bourbon.  I enjoy the
personality of the bourbons.  There are times when I want a Blanton’s
and times when Buffalo Trace is on my mind.  I like it best, sitting
in my chair, with my wife, watching one of our crime shows.
How did you come to be a bourbon fan?:  Literally, it’s in my genes.  My daddy was a Jim Beam man.  I can
remember him fixing a hot toddy for me when I was a kid.
Unfortunately, my father passed when I was a teenager and I never got to share a glass with him.  Thirty plus years later, my brother and I
still enjoy a good glass while we chill out. 
What do you enjoy most about the Bourbon & Banter community?: I enjoy sharing information about what’s new and on the market, as
well as sharing comments and thoughts about what I’m having–along
with who, and where.

 

Steve Lewis | Bourbon & Banter Member Spotlight

“We had a tasting this Friday.  The idea was expand our horizons with some samples of scotch. Our local proprietor and a rep from a distributor brought these for us to try. Because they know we are such good bourbon customers, they also brought BT and FR Single Barrel, along with BT White Dog and Sazerac Rye.  I got the BT hat because….I’m such a great guy.”

 

Want to be featured in our Member Spotlight? Drop us a note and let us know. If selected we’ll send you a few questions to answer and ask that you send us your photo and a photo of your current bourbon collection. Don’t be shy. Everyone needs at least 15 minutes of Bourbon Fame.

 

 

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