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Tribute - Dave Pickerell

Dave Pickerell was to whisky, what Michelangelo was to ceilings… an absolute master of distilling spirits.
By Jim Leggett
Dave Pickerell passed away? The man I’d just interviewed days before, gone?

Can’t be, I hope… but it’s true.

Condolences flood the newswires, top brand distillery moguls, humble whisky artisans, fans of Dave’s famous brand associations - rock stars too - share heartfelt grief while I’m struggling to find appropriate words; Dave’s life and times feature for Whisky Magazine suddenly becomes an obituary.

The just-released Metallica Blackened whiskey, every bottle featuring Dave’s signature, sits on my desk.

“The Metallica family is stunned and in disbelief at the loss of our friend and partner, Dave Pickerell. He was not only a mentor and friend, we considered him a member of Metallica. We learned so much from Dave in the all too brief time we had together. But more than anything, Dave was our good friend and we will miss him tremendously.”

Proclaimed the Johnny Appleseed of American whiskey by one magazine, his name alone made him an international celebrity, sought out to autograph bottles, barrels, even restaurant napkins… Dave’s likes will never been seen again.

“There’s a difference between a distillery and a whiskey factory, and I work in a distillery.” – Dave Pickerell.