It’s time for June’s Bourbon & Banter Member Spotlight.
June’s Member Spotlight features Dennis Nelson from Belleville, IL. I was lucky to meet 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” with Bourbon. Yes, I’m jealous of that as well.)
- 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 Even though that group is no longer active, it opened the door to tasting many whiskeys, including bourbon which became my favorite.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 it is not a bad substitute.