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Whisky Advocate On The Life And Career Of Master Distiller Dave Pickerell

November 5, 2018

Dave Pickerell, former Maker’s Mark master distiller and the creative force behind such whiskey brands as WhistlePig, Metallica’s Blackened, and Hillrock Estate, passed away on November 1, 2018 in San Francisco.

Pickerell anticipated the boom in American craft whiskey ahead of many of his peers. After departing Maker’s in 2008, he began working as a consultant to numerous small distilleries, helping them with equipment and set-up, processes, and product development.

Among the dozens of distilleries Pickerell worked with over the years, many have risen to become well-regarded producers whose whiskies are highly sought-after, including WhistlePig, Woodinville, Hillrock Estate, J. Rieger, and Belle Meade, produced at Nelson’s Green Brier. His most recent high-profile project was partnering with Metallica to create Blackened, a blend of American whiskeys finished in brandy barrels. Whisky Advocate has more on Pickerell’s life and career.—Susannah Skiver Barton

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