Jack Daniel's distiller breaking the mold

• From the Nashville Business Journal:

In many ways, Jeff Arnett’s job seems as typical as any other plant manager’s. The first one in the office at 7:30 a.m., he puts the coffee on, goes to his desk and waits for the first batch of quality reports to come in. He prepares budgets, assesses capital needs and has regular meetings throughout the week.

But Arnett’s job is anything but typical. He oversees production of the world’s most popular whiskey: Jack Daniel’s. Regular meetings in Lynchburg include the tasting panel he heads to sample barrels of whiskey before they go to market. Lab tests ensure the whiskey possesses certain characteristics, but taste is the most important test — and Arnett’s taste buds have veto power.

The 42-year-old Arnett is just the seventh master distiller in the 144-year history of Jack Daniel’s, which is an hour south of Nashville and the oldest registered distillery in the United States. An engineer by education who had 11 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, Arnett took the job in the spring of 2008 after seven years with the company. A native Tennessean from Jackson, Arnett is the first master distiller who wasn’t born in Lynchburg and the third who isn’t directly related to the first, Jack Daniel.

[Go here for the full story.]

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