One of the highlights for Metallica in 2018 was their partnership in branding the new Blackened whiskey with distiller Dave Pickerell. But there's sad news to report as Pickerell died this past Wednesday (Nov. 1) at the age of 70.

Pickerell was in San Francisco to attend the annual WhiskyFest event. The cause of his death is unknown at this time. Upon hearing the news, Metallica posted their own tribute to social media speaking about the death of Pickerell.

"The Metallica family is stunned and in disbelief at the loss of our friend and partner, Dave Pickerell. He was not only a mentor and friend, we considered him a member of Metallica," stated the band.

They continued, "We learned so much from Dave in the all too brief time we had together. But more than anything, Dave was our good friend and we will miss him tremendously. In his passion for his craft, we found a truly kindred soul - Dave lived to see people enjoy what he created, and we enjoyed every minute of our collaboration on our Blackened Whiskey with him. And judging by the smile on his face whenever we were together, we think the feeling was mutual." See the post below.

The Blackened Whiskey website currently features a photo of Pickerell is dark silhouette with the message, "Thank you for showing your optimism, your passion and your joy with us. You've left a mark on the world, and it's a better place for it. It's been an honor to have shared the journey with you. Rest in peace, Dave."

Blackened Whiskey is available through both Think Liquor and Spirited Gifts.

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