September is the accepted Birth Month of Jack Daniel’s, so every September there is a month long celebration with photos and stories that are posted online. This month however is a little different, it was announced yesterday that Master Distiller Jeff Arnett will be stepping down at the end of September 2020, and leaving Jack Daniel’s. No further details have been provided, is he retiring, going somewhere else?
Jeff was brought on to replace Jimmy ‘Bobo’ Bedford in 2008 and was listed as the 7th Master Distiller, Number 7, for this iconic brand. There is debate nowadays as to weather he is actually number 7, or number 8, as the Jack Daniel’s brand starts to recognize Nathan ‘Nearest’ Green and his importance to the history of the business.
That doesn’t take anything away from what Jeff has done for the brand in his time. He has brought a new mashbill to Jack Daniel’s with the introduction of their Rye products, as well as expanding the offerings of the brand with the flavored offerings of Honey, Fire and Apple.
I was fortunate to get to say hello to Jeff back in December 2014 during the bottle signing event for the Holiday Select release, the last time JD has offered that release. The photos on this post are from that event.
A Letter to Jeff
Thanks for everything you’ve done for the Jack Daniel’s Brand in your 12 years as Master Distiller and 20 years as an employee. Best wishes with whatever the future brings you. Anytime you are in the St. Louis area, feel free to swing by for a drink!
-Collector Of Jack
Who will take Jeff’s Place and be the next Master Distiller?
Word is that Brown Foreman will make the announcement for Jeff’s replacement in the future. I think Chris Fletcher, Assistant Master Distiller, is obviously a potential pick, but he’s rather young, will that play into the decision?
Will the brand try to fill the role with someone who provides more diversity to the brand? In today’s day and age, I would assume that BF is looking at this as an option.
I don’t know that I have an opinion as to which direction they should go, but I look forward to following along as the brand continues to mature and age.