The master distiller behind Metallica's just-launched brand of whiskey has died. The thrash icons said on Friday that they were "stunned and in disbelief" at the loss of Dave Pickerell, whom they enlisted to create Blackened, the band's first release from its Sweet Amber Distilling Co.
"He was not only a mentor and friend, we considered him a member of Metallica," the band said. "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."
Pickerell died on Thursday, according to WhistlePig Whiskey, where he was master distiller. The Daily Beast is reporting that Pickerell passed away while in San Francisco for the annual WhiskyFest event, set to begin tonight. No other details have been released.