Metallica’s whiskey hires master distiller

5th June, 2019 by Nicola Carruthers

Blackened American whiskey, which was co-created by rock band Metallica and the late Dave Pickerell, has appointed Rob Dietrich as master distiller.

Rob Dietrich joins Blackened American whiskey as master distiller

Launched in August 2018, Blackened American whiskey was produced under the Sweet Amber Distilling Company – a partnership between Metallica and Pickerell.

It was the final project for Pickerell, the former master distiller of WhistlePig, who died in November last year.

The expression is a blend of Bourbon, rye and other American whiskeys that has been aged in black brandy barrels exposed to “low hertz sound waves”.

The vibration from the sounds waves is said to “enhance the molecular interaction” of the liquid inside the barrel.

“Dave Pickerell will forever be a member of our band and our family,” said Metallica. “When we needed to begin searching for our next master distiller, it was a priority to find someone who could honour and continue the magic that Dave started.

“Rob shares a great respect for craftsmanship that Dave had and that we have for Blackened and our music.”

Dietrich will oversee the sourcing, blending and cask finishing of barrels for each batch of Blackened American whiskey.

With more than 12 years of experience in the industry, Dietrich most recently held the role of master distiller for Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey.

In addition to distilling, Dietrich is passionate about music, having spent 10 years in the music business with freelance agent Bill Graham Presents.

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

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