Metallica’s whiskey label hires new master distiller to follow Dave Pickerell’s footsteps

The US distillery that produces Metallica’s own “sound enhanced” whiskey label has named Rob Dietrich as the brand’s new master distiller, following in the footsteps of the late distilling legend, Dave Pickerell.

(Photo: Sweet Amber Distilling Co.)

Sweet Amber Distilling Co, which was launched by Pickerell and Metallica last year, headed up by CEO and former Seagram executive John Bilello, has appointed Dietrech as the master distiller for Blackened, a whiskey made by blending bourbons and ryes from across North America.

Dietrich replaces former master distiller Pickerell, who passed away towards the end of 2018.

Pickerell’s final project was the development of Metallica’s whiskey label.

Named after the song of the same name on their 1988 album Justice for All, Blackened used a unique, patent-pending “sonic enhancement” process known as ‘Black Noise’ to “shape” the whiskey’s flavour, which involved using custom playlists of Metallica’s music – a different one for each batch – during the distilling process.

“The opportunity to follow in Dave Pickerell’s footsteps at Blackened is humbling,” Dietrich said.

“Dave Pickerell set a very high standard with everything he touched.

“His spirit of kindness and dedication live on with the team. I feel excited by the challenge of taking Blackened to new heights that Dave would have been proud of. ”

John Bilello, CEO of Sweet Amber Distilling Co, said: “Dave was not only one of the most groundbreaking distillers to ever walk the earth, but he was also a great friend. He possessed an unstoppable passion for the world of whiskey. It was of utmost importance for us to find someone like Rob Dietrich, who is also devoted to the craft.”

Prior to joining Blackened, Rob Dietrich was the master distiller for Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey, and has more than 12 years in the industry.

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