Dickel master distiller leaving to head Popcorn Sutton

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A central figure in the public dispute between Jack Daniel's and George Dickel distilleries over the legal definition of Tennessee whiskey is leaving to head up a brand named after a legendary moonshiner.

John Lunn, who has been the master distiller of George Dickel Tennessee Whiskey since 2005, will take up the same role at Popcorn Sutton Distilling in Newport, Tennessee.

Dickel is owned by British conglomerate Diageo PLC, which has led a heated legislative fight seeking to overturn the state's newly established legal definition for Tennessee whiskey. The 2013 law was enacted at the behest of Jack Daniel's, which is owned by global rival Brown-Forman Corp. of Louisville, Kentucky.

Those rules require whiskey to be filtered through sugar maple charcoal before aging in unused white oak barrels.