Jimmy Bedford is one of the 6 Master Distillers who served at Jack Daniel's Distillery since Jack Daniel registered his distillery back in 1866. Every one of the former Master Distillers including Bedford is born in Tennessee. "Lynchburg is the perfect place for making an old-time whiskey," says Bedford. "Not much changes around here, including our whiskey. It's my job to see that Jack Daniels Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey never changes. If it does, I'll be asked to change jobs!"
Born and raised in the Moore Country where it still remainds as a dry county for nearly 100 years, Bedford has worked at the Distillery for over 30 years. He started during the summer while in college and was named Jack Daniel's 6th Master Distiller in 1988, when his friend and a former Master Distillery Frank Bobo retired.
Bedford oversees distillery's entire whiskey making process. He admits that one of the more important jobs is tasting the whiskey. Another part of the Master Distiller's job at Jack Daniel's is traveling around the world to spend time with the fans of Jack Daniel's brands. He has been to over 130 countries from South Africa to mainland China. But once harvest time arrives, Bedford is back in Lynchburg, working his family farm just up the road from the Distillery.
"Lynchburg and Jack Daniel's have just always been a part of my life," says Bedford. "I guess that's another thing that will never change."
The Master Distiller oversees the entire whiskey making process of milling, yeasting, fermentation, and distillation, which includes production scheduling and taste testing to ensure quality. There have been 6 Master Distillers to date: Jack Daniel (1866-1911), Jess Motlow (1911 - 1941), Lem Tolley (1941 - 1964), Jess Gamble (1964 - 1966), Frank Bobo (1966 - 1992) and the current Master Distiller, Jimmy Bedford.
Jack Daniel's Distillery, Lynchberg, TN
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