Seasoned whiskey maker, Chris Fletcher, will now take over as Master Distiller of the Jack Daniel’s Distillery.
The iconic Tennessee Whiskey brand is home to the first registered distillery in the United States.
The 39-year-old had previously served six years as assistant master distiller and will now oversee the distillery’s new “Distillers in Training” programs that teach, recruit, and mentor the next generation of whiskey makers. Fletcher will also be responsible for the overall quality of Jack Daniel’s and serve as a global ambassador.
Grandson of the former master distiller Frank Bobo, Fletcher was born and raised in Lynchburg and will now carry on the family tradition. Bobo served his role from 1966 until retirement in 1989.
“For the past six years, Chris has been right there and involved in every major distillery innovation, product, and enhanced production process while ensuring our Tennessee Whiskey is of the highest character and quality,” says Larry Combs, Jack Daniel’s Distillery SVP and general manager. “Chris has whiskey making in his blood, but he also has this incredible and unique combination of knowledge, expertise, and creativity that will position us well into the future. Folks like Chris don’t come along every day and backed by our tremendous senior leadership team, I have no doubt that he will flourish in this new role.”
While attending college in 2001, Fletcher worked as a tour guide at Jack Daniel’s. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University in 2003 with a B.S. in Chemistry. He went off to work as a chemist with Brown-Forman in Research & Development for eight years. He then came back home after working several years in the bourbon industry to become the assistant master distiller of Jack Daniel’s Distillery.
“It’s an honor to be named master distiller here at Jack Daniel’s and join a line of folks who’ve made the best whiskey in the world,” says Chris Fletcher. “Over the last 17 years, I’ve been able to learn and work alongside so many talented whiskey makers, and I am very grateful for the mentors I’ve had, including Jeff Arnett who taught me so much. Our distillery and team here in Lynchburg are the best in the business, and I cannot wait to continue working with them crafting the world’s favorite Tennessee Whiskey.”
Chris, his wife, Ashley, and their three-month-old son, Panye Thomas all reside in Lynchburg Tennessee.