Jack Daniel’s names Chris Fletcher master distillerBy Nicola Carruthers
Brown-Forman has appointed Chris Fletcher as the new master distiller of Jack Daniel’s, taking over from Jeff Arnett.
In September 2020, Arnett left the company after 12 years in the master distiller role. He had spent nearly 20 years working at the Tennessee distillery.
Lynchburg-born Fletcher, who has served as assistant master distiller at Jack Daniel’s for six years, will now take over the position.
As master distiller, Fletcher will be responsible for maintaining the quality of Jack Daniel’s and will oversee innovation. He will also serve as a global ambassador.
Furthermore, Fletcher will manage the new Distillers in Training programme, which will recruit and mentor the next generation of whiskey makers.
“It’s an honour 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,” said 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 favourite Tennessee whiskey.”
Fletcher worked as a part-time tour guide for Jack Daniel’s in 2001 while attending university. He graduated with a BS in chemistry from Tennessee Technological University in 2003 and worked as a chemist with Brown-Forman in research and development for eight years. Prior to joining Jack Daniel’s, Fletcher worked in the Bourbon industry for several years.
Fletcher is also the grandson of former Jack Daniel’s master distiller Frank Bobo, who served in the role from 1966 until his 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,” said Larry Combs, Jack Daniel Distillery’s senior vice president 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.”