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 second release (summer 2013) is a homage to Jesse Butler “Jess” Motlow, the longest serving Jack Daniel’s master distiller (1911-1941). Upon Jack Daniel’s death in 1911 his nephew Lem Motlow, took over business. Lem however has never made whiskey, his younger brother Jess learnt the craft from Jack Daniel, from whom he inherited the title. Jess held the position for 30 years, unfortunately most of that time the distillery remained closed due to state then to national prohibition. Jess had fantastic memory and was able to rebuild the distillery when prohibition was finally repealed; he also knew by heart the formula and all secrets of making Jack Daniel’s whiskey. When Lem Motlow died in 1947 he left the distillery to his four sons. Jess had been already enjoying his retirement after turning over the position of master distiller to Lem Tolley. Jess Motlow passed away in 1957.