The Master Distillers

Share This Page

In the 150 year history of the Jack Daniel Distillery there have been only eight Master Distillers.

The person who holds this title is not only responsible for overseeing the entire whiskey-making process, but also becomes the face of Jack Daniel’s through advertising and promotional events held worldwide. The first person to fill this role was the one and only Jack Daniel; a perfectionist who knew exactly how he wanted every drop of his whiskey made. He held this position from the day he opened the Distillery in 1866 to the day of his death in 1911.

Many changes were made at the Distillery following Jack Daniel’s death. While Jack had been both Owner and Master Distiller, he would be the last person to hold both titles. Lem Motlow took over ownership of the Distillery upon Jack’s death and his name is now infamous in Jack Daniel’s history. However, he never actually held the title of Master Distiller…

  • #8 – Chris Fletcher – 2020 to Current
  • #7 – Jeff Arnett – 2008 to 2020
  • #6 – Jimmy Bedford – 1988 to 2008
  • #5 – Frank Bobo – 1966 to 1988
  • #4 – Jess Gamble – 1964 to 1966
  • #3 – Lem Tolley – 1941 to 1964
  • #2 – Jess Motlow – 1911 to 1941
  • #1 – Jack Daniel – 1866 to 1911

Additional information about the Master Distillers is provided in Volume I of the Jack Daniel’s Bottle Collector’s Guide.

Jack Daniel’s Bottle Collector's Guides

The Ultimate Guides for Jack Daniel’s collectors and enthusiasts, these books provide an overview and history of Jack Daniel’s family of whiskeys and the many commemorative bottles released by the Distillery over the last 50 years.

Get The Books