Dennis Nelson – 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.

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.)

Dennis Nelson
  • 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.
Dennis Nelson Bourbon Collection