head distiller/president of vices
After stints as a teacher and in winemaking, Dave Smith joined St. George Spirits in 2005 upon realizing that he was spending a healthy portion of his salary on alcohol.
Dave is an accomplished distiller with experience across St. George’s entire portfolio of spirits. He is widely admired in the distilling community and among bartenders for his “deep knowledge and passion for spirits” (San Francisco Bay Guardian).
Whiskey is truly Dave’s calling, however, and his prodigious talents have led him to become the chief custodian and guiding hand behind the St. George whiskey program. Dave's thoughtful approach, palate, and skill in the art of blending have shepherded the development of St. George Single Malt Whiskey from one release to the next—a delicate balancing act that requires keeping the spirit true to its original signature while incorporating older barrels as time goes on.
Also bearing Dave's thumbprint: our Baller Single Malt Whiskey, the 30th Anniversary Edition of our single malt, the 35th Anniversary Edition of our single malt, and our Breaking & Entering American Whiskey. His accomplishments in the field have led GQ to dub him “(one of the) mad scientists of American whiskey," and have garnered widespread accolades for our whiskey program.
Outside the world of whiskey, Dave has also gained recognition for developing St. George NOLA Coffee Liqueur. He was also the driving force behind our various Faultline collaborations with K&L Wine Merchants. Also notable are his collaborations with Sierra Nevada, the Exploratorium, and Blacksmith Cellars.