Whisky Advocate

Jack Daniel’s announces new Master Distiller

April 2nd, 2008

 This is just in to our office, via press release (below). Looks like they found their replacement for Jimmy Bedford. Master Distillers are starting to be younger than me. Pretty scary. If you’re heading to WhiskyFest Chicago on Friday, you’ll be able to meet him (as will I). 


Tennessean Becomes Only Seventh Master Distiller In History of Storied Company; Will Attend Chicago Whiskyfest on April 4 

LYNCHBURG (pop. 361), Tenn. (April 2, 2008) – The Jack Daniel Distillery announced today that Jeff Arnett has been named Master Distiller. 

Arnett, 41, is a native Tennessean and will become only the seventh Master Distiller in the company’s history.  He replaces Jimmy Bedford, who announced his retirement from the position last month.    

The Master Distiller oversees the entire whiskey-making process of milling, yeasting, fermentation, distillation, charcoal mellowing and maturation.      

“I fully understand the huge shoes that I’ll be stepping into and can’t begin to express my appreciation to those who have entrusted me with this position,” said Arnett.  “It’s been a privilege to work with Jimmy Bedford and learn the trade over the past several years.  I look forward to carrying on the Jack Daniel’s tradition and following Mr. Jack’s guiding words of ‘every day we make it, we’ll make it the best we can.'” 

Arnett began his career at the Jack Daniel Distillery seven years ago in quality control and overseeing Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel.  Since that time, he has worked in a variety of capacities

throughout the distillery, including warehousing, maturation, distillation, charcoal mellowing management, barrel quality and bottling, as well as being a member of the Master Tasters’ panel.

Prior to his work with Jack Daniel’s, he served as production manager and engineer in the food and beverage industry for 10 years. 

“We have every faith and confidence that Jeff is going to do an outstanding job as Master Distiller and carry on the long tradition of the master craftsmen who have made the world’s best whiskey for more than one hundred years,” said Tommy Beam, senior vice president and general manager of the Jack Daniel Distillery, Lem Motlow Prop.   

Arnett and his wife, Lori, live in Lynchburg with their two young children, Will and Elizabeth. 

5 Responses to “Jack Daniel’s announces new Master Distiller”

  1. lawschooldrunk says:

    one can only hope he brings back 43%ABV to the standard Jack.

  2. John Hansell says:

    Or even the 45%, which preceded the 43%. I found a botle of the 45% once in my father-in-law’s drinks cabinet. (With a lot of dust on it!)

  3. sam k says:

    Their motto back in the day was used in those iconic print ads: “90 proof by choice.” If only it still was. I will say that it was a pleasure meeting Jeff Arnett at WhiskyFest. He seems to be quite capable of filling Jimmy Bedford’s shoes, and thankfully has the same degree of humility. The Jack Daniels Single Barrel is what their stuff should taste like!

  4. John Hansell says:

    Yes, the Single Barrel is the only one of the standard bottlings that I truly enjoy. There were other limited editions that I liked, like the Silver Select that was sold in Duty Free and Barrelhouse 1, which was the first limited edition bottling they sold at the distillery. That was probably the best JD whiskey I ever tasted. I still have a bottle.

    All the best to Jeff Arnett.

  5. Small Cnc Milling Machine…

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you….

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