Whiskey Guardian Dies

Seven men have been responsible for preserving the taste of Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey in the whiskey company's 143-year-old history. The sixth, master distiller Jimmy Bedford, died Friday of a heart attack. He was 69. After working 20 years at the Lynchburg, Tennessee distillery, Bedford was charged with sipping new batches of No. 7 to make sure they tasted the same as the old ones. He sipped, but never swallowed. "People tell me I have more willpower than anyone they've ever known," said Bedford, who retired from the position last year. Bourbon swillers have Bedford to thank for the introduction of the first new brands to Jack Daniel's in over one hundred years—Jack Daniel's Single Barrel and Gentleman Jack.