After posting about my experience at the Mount Vernon whiskey distillery, I realized I omitted a significant high point. Before returning to Texas, I made one last visit to the distillery, and it happened to be the same day that Dave Pickerell was there to help the distillers finish off the batch of rye. For those who aren’t familiar with Dave Pickerell, I guarantee you are familiar with his work (if not personally, you have probably heard of it). For fourteen years he was the Master Distiller at Maker’s Mark Distillery, and he helped make that product a staple at bars and homes across the United States. He now works at WhistlePig Rye Whiskey Distillery. Dave Pickerell is such a prominent figure in the American whiskey business, he is known as “Mr. Whiskey.” You can learn more about his work here: “Meet Mr. Whiskey.”
Every year, Dave Pickerell makes a trip to Mount Vernon to work with the distillers. Dave has a long history of working at Mount Vernon; he did whiskey distilling demonstrations before the new distillery was built, and he has had a hand in the production of every batch of George Washington’s reconstructed rye. Needless to say, getting a chance to meet Dave and chat with him about making whiskey, the history of American whiskey, and the modern whiskey industry was a real treat. I certainly hope we get a chance to chat further in the future.
Cheers, and happy Throwback Thursday.