BBS Tastemaker Highlight - David Neeley
Name: David Neeley
Occupation: Financial Advisor
Location: Charlotte, NC
Favorite cocktail: Old-Fashioneds and Revolvers (with orange AND chocolate bitters)
Favorite bourbon: I’m more of a “poly-Bourbon” kinda guy and share my palate with three big faves. Evan Williams Single Barrel, Johnny Drum and Maker’s Mark-Private Select-BBS are all my favorite.
What's your bourbon story? What was your first dram? How did you fall in love with whiskey?
I was introduced to whisky on a 2008 golf trip. A buddy shared a couple bottles of Macallan 18 with me, and, even my “Corona-calibrated” taste buds knew it was good. I drank Scotch almost exclusively for a couple years till the “veterans buy-American” voice in my head led me to take a chance on Bourbon.
My first bottle was Basil Hayden – I hated it. Smoky, sweet Scotches dominated my palate and I wasn’t ready for Basil Hayden’s dramatically different wood/grain profile. I don’t even know if I finished the bottle and went back to Scotch for another year or so.
The relatively higher cost for good Scotch made me take another chance on Bourbon though – that’s when I found Evan Williams Single Barrel, warm vanilla, honey, cedar wood profile. Been in love with Bourbon ever since.
Why did you join BBS? Why is diversity and inclusion important in the spirit industry?
American history is wonky and often relegates its most impactful citizens, women and minorities, to footnotes and obtuse narratives. My Southern formative years took me into the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, J.R.O.T.C. through the Army and culminated in becoming a veteran. I love where I grew up and cherish my experiences. However, the juxtaposition of environment and ethnicity not only taught me how great America can be, but also how culture can muffle the voices of some of its most enthusiastic and valuable citizens.
BBS celebrates enthusiasm for whiskey and gives a raised voice to women and minorities whose voices are diffused in American culture. The spirits industry and the cultural fabric of our country benefits when all of us are heard and recognized for our contributions.