In September 2012 Jack Daniel’s Distillery introduced the Master Distiller Series, a range of Jack Daniel’s whiskey celebrating seven master distillers (including the current one, Jeff Arnett) throughout the history of the distillery.
The sixth release (fall 2017) pays homage to Jimmy Bedford, who held the master distiller post from 1988 to 2008. James Howard Bedford took over master distiller’s post from Frank Bobo in 1988. Along with overseeing the whiskey-making process he travelled extensively promoting the brand and conducting tasting seminars around the world. During his tenure Jack Daniel’s added two premium expressions to its core range – Single Barrel and Gentleman Jack. In 2007 he was presented with the Icons of Whisky Lifetime Achievement Award by Whisky Magazine. Jimmy Bedford used to say, “the biggest constant in Lynchburg is Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 and it’s my job to see that it never changes; if it does I’m in trouble”. The trouble was brewing on a different end, though. Bedford’s stellar career was disrupted in 2008 with a sexual harassment lawsuit by one of the brand managers, Claudie Falkenberg. However never proven guilty he was forced to resign. He died of heart attack the following year in the age of 69.