By Richard Thomas
John Lunn, Master Distiller at George Dickel, left the company today. Lunn had served as Dickel’s Master Distiller for 11 years.
Lunn was recruited into the company in 2004 by former Dickel Master Distiller Jennings D. Backus, serving as his apprentice for roughly a year before succeeding Backus upon his 2005 retirement.
Although Dickel is best viewed as a medium-sized distillery next to majors like Jim Beam and Jack Daniel’s, it dates its present establishment back to 1958 and stands as one of American whiskey’s Old Guard distilleries. Lunn is 45 today, and at the time of his appointment was remarkably young to be entrusted with such a prestigious distillery.
Diageo, Dickel’s parent company, has begun a search for a new Master Distillery. This may imply that Distiller Alissa Henley (note the lack of the word “master” in her title) is not in the running as Lunn’s replacement. Lunn has made no official statement yet as to what he is moving onto.