Farewell to the Father of A Thousand Distilleries

I’m extremely sad to hear the news that one of our great friends and partners has passed on. No single person has had more influence on the exploding craft whiskey scene than Dave Pickerell. But Dave wasn’t just another cog in the system. He was one of the most knowledgeable, creative and experienced individuals in this entire industry. He had strong opinions about what and why things tasted good. Even with the wealth of knowledge he constantly imparted on me, it was his outrageous stories that I will remember most. This guy lived his life like a boss. You just couldn’t believe the things he’d done. He loved to hang and shoot the shit and his visits were invariably lengthy and wet.

He was at the shop just last week where we talked about several of his brands and new whiskey projects. The sales meeting devolved into an endless tasting of various whiskies and rums - talking high ester Jamaican and Metallica. Dave seemed very busy, but very happy. His newest project with Metallica, the Blackened Whiskey, is coming online now. I asked him squarely if it was bullshit. He said he was surprised himself how legit it had turned out. The band had given him complete creative freedom and allowed him to experiment, while insuring that the final product would be up to his standards. I’d rarely seen him more excited about a new project and I was really glad to see that they’d treated him right.

The list of awards and accolades that he amassed through his various projects is unfathomable. His list of projects itself seems endless. His death will leave a gaping hole in this industry and also my heart. We’ll be sippin’ one for you tonight my old friend.

David Othenin-Girard