David Steven Pickerell

August 14, 1956November 1, 2018

David Steven Pickerell of Mt. Washington, Kentucky passed away on November 1, 2018 in San Francisco, California at the age of 62.  Dave died of natural causes.  His sudden and untimely death came as a shock to those who loved him.  Dave was born in Fairborn, Ohio on August 14, 1956 to Dick and Georgia Lynn Herbert Wallis Pickerell.  The second of four children (Terri, Tami, and Rick), Dave was a standout football player and scholar in high school.  He earned Prep All-American honors in football before being accepted to play football for the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, where he completed his undergraduate degree in Chemistry.  Dave would like the record to show that he was also accepted to Harvard University, which he ultimately turned down, but kept his acceptance letter.  After completing his undergraduate degree, Dave pursued his military career at various places across America.  While stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky, Dave met the love of his life, Jeannette Harvie.  Dave and Jeannette were married December 17, 1983 in Fort Knox.  They had two daugthers, Anna and Rebekah, while living there.  Dave proceeded to earn his Master's Degree in chemical engineering from the University of Louisville before returning to West Point to teach Chemistry.  After having their third, and favorite child (at least I like to think I was) and oldest son, Micah, in West Point, Dave left the military to pursue a career in chemical engineering.  This brought the family back to Louisville, Kentucky where they had their fourth and final child, Joshua.  Upon moving back to Kentucky, Dave began his career in the alcoholic beverage industry, for which he was best known.  While consulting for Maker's Mark on behalf of an engineering consulting firm, he was hired on full time to be the master distiller.  During his time as master distiller at Maker's Mark, Dave made an indelible mark on the whiskey industry and established himself as one of the leading experts in the industry.  After 14 years with Maker's Mark, Dave decided it was time to pursue some of his more eccentric ideas on his own with like-minded business partners.  Dave founded his consulting company, Oak View Spirits, with the aim of innovating the alcoholic beverage industry.  During his 10 years of work with Oak View Spirits, he had many noteworthy and successful projects including Whistlepig and Hillrock Estate.  Dave will be remembered for his passion for his craft and his love for teaching and helping others.  He was loved by everyone who had the great fortune of meeting him.  Dave's personality was larger than life and he always managed to find himself as the center of attention.  He is survived by his wife, Jeannette Pickerell, his children, Anna Birney (Geoff), Rebekah Smith (Mark), Micah and Joshua Pickerell;  his grandsons, Kayden Smith, Drew Birney, Gideon Smith, and Salem James Smith;  along with his siblings, Terri, Tami, and Rick Pickerell.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Dick and Georgia Lynn Herbert Wallis Pickerell.  A public celebration of Dave's life will be held 7 p.m. Monday, November 19, 2018 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown.  In lieu of sending flowers, well-wishers are encouraged to enjoy a glass of their favorite whiskey and remember Dave.  Arrangements have been entrusted to McFarland-Troutman-Proffitt Funeral Home, Mt. Washington.

Condolences

For Teri: Representing your Class of 1971 classmates, we sincerely offer you condolences at this very sad time. It's hard whether the death is sudden, or if an illness lingers. Either way, it's hard to lose those we love. We also send heart-felt sympathies to the rest of the family. Fondly, Denise (Kline) Derge www.fairborn71.com
Distilled Spirits Council Mourns Loss of Industry Legend and Pioneer Dave Pickerell November 02, 2018 2:25 pm 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 can be read at DistilledSpirits.com/trends/rye