Who was Dave Pickerell?

Who was Dave Pickerell?

Who was Dave Pickerell?

Who was Dave Pickerell? If you’re asking yourself this question, it’s likely because you’ve recently heard of his passing on November 1, 2018.

Answering this question isn’t easy, and not because we have a lack of things to say.  The whiskey community is mourning the loss of Dave Pickerell because he was a whiskey icon. His death has sent a shockwave throughout our community to cause us to remember what he meant and still means to us.

Who was Dave Pickerell?

Photo courtesy of WhistlePig

Who was Dave Pickerell? – A Military Man

Dave Pickerell served in the United States Military for 11 years in logistics, training, and parachutist specialties.  He graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point where he majored in Chemistry, and later went on to get his Master’s in Chemical Engineering from the University of Louisville.

Who was Dave Pickerell? – A Whiskey Scientist and Master Distiller

From 1994-2008, Dave oversaw the production of Maker’s Mark products as their Master Distiller.  He worked with numerous brands including Oak View Spirits, George Washington Distillery, Woodinville, J Rieger, Belle Meade (Nelson’s Green Brier), Blackened and WhistlePig as well as many others. He has designed equipment, systems and processes for roughly 100 distilleries around the world. Dave served as a chair and director for the Kentucky Distillers Association and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. Dave has consulted for beverage alcohol operations in Russia, Scotland, China, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Canada.  Of course, in the In the US, he designed equipment and systems for many of the bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey distilleries 

If you didn’t know before, you know now. Dave Pickerell was something special, but not only because of his impact on the world of whiskey. 

Who was Dave Pickerell? – A Giver

Though Dave Pickerell would dress like “Boss Hogg” from The Dukes of Hazzard to hype the WhistlePig Boss Hog releases, that was about the only thing Dave Pickerell had in common with “Boss Hogg.” If you’re unfamiliar with the character, he was the selfish and shady commissioner of Hazzard County. Boss Hogg was wealthy and would repeatedly cut corners and scheme to find a way to line his own pockets.

Dave, on the other hand, was known to have helped out many craft distilleries at no cost. Since his passing, countless stories have been shared of his generosity. Repeatedly, stories about how generous he was with his time, entertaining questions and conversations with whiskey fanatics as if he had no where else to be. 

If you didn’t know, ask around. Dave was awesome. Raise your glasses to one of the good guys.

The Legend of Jim Rutledge

Jim Rutledge