Considered to be one of the founding fathers of the American craft distilling movement, Dave Pickerell’s impact on the industry was considerable.
The master distiller was a colourful character, an engaging raconteur who liked to tell stories and could often be found dressed in period costumes for marketing events, and a former college football player.
He was also a well-educated chemical engineer who enforced the highest quality standards in distilling, whether at a major company like Maker’s Mark or at the hundreds of smaller operations he helped during the years.
After leaving the army in 1989, Dave became a chemical engineer and distilling consultant at Ro-Tech in Louisville, Kentucky.
In 1994, he joined Maker’s Mark Bourbon as a corporate vice president and master distiller, and was with the company for 14 years, during which he presided over a period of great growth.
After leaving Maker’s Mark, he established a consulting firm called Oak View Spirits, where he advised more than 100 other distilleries.
In one of his final projects before his death in November 2018, he worked with rock band Metallica to release a product called Blackened American Whiskey.