Another master distiller stepping down

William M. Dowd photo

Maker’s Mark master distiller David Pickerell has left the bourbon maker after 14 years, according to a company announcement.

No reason was given except that euphemistic catch-all phrase "to pursue other interests."

Pickerell is being replaced by Kevin Smith (above, conducting a distillery tour), who joined the company in 1998 as a master distiller in training.

“We are grateful for Dave’s many contributions to Maker’s Mark and wish him all the best,” Bill Samuels Jr., president of the Loretto, KY, distillery, said in a statement.

He is the second master distiller to step down in recent weeks. In February, Jimmy Bedford, 68, announced he was retiring on March 31 as master distiller for Jack Daniel's, where he had held the post for the last 20 of his 40 years with the Lynchburg, TN, company. No successor has yet been named there.

You can take a brief your of the Maker's Mark facility via video, hosted by a familiar actor who has had plenty of experience playing a drinking man. Cheers!

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