Spirits icon and pioneering distiller Dave Pickerell died recently in San Francisco.

Pickerell spent 14 years as Master Distiller for Maker’s Mark before venturing out to help start many of the craft distilling operations now seen across the country. He was also critical in restoring George Washington’s Distillery at Mount Vernon.

“Dave Pickerell was a true icon in the distilling world, and an innovator and mentor to so many.

“With Bill Samuels at Maker’s Mark, Dave helped launch the premiumization of Bourbon, a trend that has swept around the globe.

“He was a leader of the original team of distillers involved in the restoration of George Washington’s Distillery and the recreation of the first Rye Whiskey at the site in 200 years. That effort in the early 2000s sparked the revival and subsequent boom in Rye whiskey that followed.

“And, through his teaching, consulting and friendship, he was a founding father of the craft distilling movement that is exploding in the United States.”

Quote attributable to Frank Coleman, Senior Vice President, Distilled Spirits Council

Dave Pickerell’s The Rise And Fall And Rise of Rye