Q&A: Dave Pickerell, Whistlepig master distiller!

We caught up with Dave Pickerell as he zoomed into London on a flying visit to launch WhistlePig FarmStock Rye Crop No.002 whiskey (available exclusively here, FYI!), first at a rammed tasting at the Bloomsbury Hotel and later at Hedonism Wines in Mayfair. He’s a busy man but he managed to give us half an hour of his undivided attention to tell us about his obsession with all thing rye…

WhistlePig is a distillery that’s made the headlines for many reasons over the years, from founder Raj Bhakta’s original dream of making rye whiskey in Vermont and its first releases to the brand’s cameo in Breaking Bad and everything in between. We meet master distiller Dave Pickerell to discuss recent events as WhistlePig FarmStock Rye Crop No.002 hits the shelves here in the UK.

MoM: Hello Dave, welcome to London, could you tell us how you first got into making whiskey?

Dave Pickerell: I enrolled at the University of Louisville and was studying for my Masters degree (in chemical engineering) and discovered that I’m an idiot savant at distilling! Truly, it’s not about smarts; it’s about some innate sense that I can close my eyes and see molecules running around in a still and know where they’re going next and why. My mentor told me that the beverage alcohol industry needed me. And there was a small consulting firm in Louisville that did nothing but beverage alcohol and they’d just landed a contract and it was more than they could handle and they needed another chemical engineer. I got to work in China, Mexico, Canada, Scotland, the Dominican Republic, and all over the US. I learned about fine spirits, and lousy spirits, all over the world.
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Categories : American Whiskey
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