Dennis Nelson Photo

Farewell To A Bourbon Brother

In Banter by Patrick "Pops" Garrett6 Comments

Several years ago, back when we first started Bourbon & Banter, I introduced a feature on the site called the "Member Spotlight." It was a way for me to introduce some of the bourbon friends I had met along my bourbon journey and invite others to connect with them as well. The 3rd person featured was Dennis Nelson.

I met Dennis at a local tasting event shortly after I had launched the Bourbon & Banter Facebook page (we didn't have a website at that time). We quickly became friends, and Dennis always made an effort to attend the Bourbon & Banter events that I held in St. Louis. His enthusiasm for what I was doing with Bourbon & Banter helped me stay focused and helped me overcome moments of doubt.

Dennis was also kind enough to take part in an early experiment where I had local folks help taste a new bourbon hitting the market. He was quick to volunteer even though we were doing it blind and on video. If it had something to do with bourbon, you could always count on Dennis' help.

Dennis' enthusiasm for all things bourbon and whiskey meant that I would run into him all over town if I found myself at a whiskey bar or tasting event. It was at one such whiskey bar that I ran into Dennis and wife on May 15th. I was waiting to meet someone for a business meeting, but I was thrilled to see Dennis again and hear about his latest bourbon adventures.  We spoke for about 5 mins before I had to sit with my guest - but not before we both suggested a more extended meet up over drinks was long overdue.

It was just a week later that I heard Dennis passed away.

I've been trying to write this post for almost a week now, and I still struggle to acknowledge that he's gone. I mourn for the loss of a great man, a spirited friend whose enthusiasm helped me pursue my passion and for his family who lost their husband and father. The world lost a beautiful soul, and all that knew him will miss him for years to come.

Farewell, my bourbon brother.

About the Author

Patrick "Pops" Garrett

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Patrick Garrett, "Pops" as he's known to his friends, is the founder of Bourbon & Banter, LLC and claims the title of Chief Drinking Officer (CDO). A long-time marketing professional and photographer, Pops hopes to use his professional experience and love of Bourbon to spread the Bourbon Gospel and help everyone realize the therapeutic power of having a good drink with friends. Read Patrick's full profile.


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    Dear Patrick,

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend …… will have a glass of Buffalo Trace in his honor this evening.


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    The more difficult of all things is as we age, much as the Angels Share, we lose the family, friends and loved ones we have enjoyed the privilege of knowing.

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    Thank you for sharing his story. He was a joy to be around and will be missed at our Missouri Whiskey Society meetings and events. You could always count on Dennis, Linda and his friends for a good time sipping red wine and whiskey!

    – Elizabeth

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    I met with Dennis at several MWS get-togethers, including one at my own hose. He was the kind of guy that wouldn’t hesitate to open up a 20 year old Pappys to share with friends. Owner of a fairly large collection of rare bourbons, Dennis would rather share his fine bourbons with a good friend than sell them on the secondary market. He was that kind of guy. Dennis will be sorely missed.

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    This doesn’t surprise me because Dennis never met a stranger. There aren’t enough words to describe him, but Bourbon Evangelist. His extensive collection was unmatched and he never hesitated to share it with you. I’ll miss his messages whenever there’s an event saying, “hey, are we going to this?”, his outfits to match the event and his overall great personality! We all love Dennis and he will be missed. Keep his wife and best friend Linda your prayers.

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    Life is to short and we should all take time to do want really matters. Spend time with family, friends and of course good bourbon.

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