TALENT: Chris Fletcher
Chris Fletcher is the assistant master distiller at the Jack Daniel Distillery and a native of Lynchburg, Tennessee. Fletcher’s role as assistant master distiller allows him to utilize his sensory skills and extensive knowledge of the whiskey making process while providing support for Master Distiller Jeff Arnett. He also looks forward to playing a key role in any potential new offerings that the distillery may consider in the future.
After earning a degree in chemistry, Fletcher joined the Jack Daniel Distillery first as a tour guide in 2001 and then gained a complete knowledge of production at Jack Daniel’s including milling, mashing, fermenting, distillation, mellowing and maturation, all passed down first-hand by his grandfather,
retired Master Distiller Frank “Frog” Bobo, and other Jack Daniel’s employees with decades of experience.
After his stint in Lynchburg, Fletcher worked for Brown-Forman Corporation in Louisville, Kentucky on Jack Daniel’s quality control. In this role, Fletcher touched everything that had to do with the whiskey-making process, from the still to the barrel. Following two years of gaining valuable experience working for distilleries across North America, Fletcher returned to the Jack Daniel Distillery in 2014.
As the grandson of Bobo, the distillery’s fifth master distiller from 1966-89, making Jack Daniel’s Tennessee sipping whiskey comes naturally to Fletcher. He recalls visiting his grandfather at the distillery, following closely at his heels and hearing stories about those who came before them. Fletcher’s first memory of the distillery is watching his grandfather make sour mash and operating the stills. Today, he feels very fortunate to have two outstanding mentors - his grandfather and the seventh master distiller, Arnett.
With American whiskey currently experiencing such a renaissance, the 36 year-old Fletcher is an ideal fit for Jack Daniel’s. He not only has a foothold into the heritage and authenticity of Jack, but he also brings a fresh approach to product innovation. As his grandfather often reminds him, the incredible growth Jack Daniel’s has experienced since his days at the distillery is a result of the process and quality controls established by its founder. Now it’s Fletcher’s job to help ensure that the dedication to the craft of making great whiskey remains true to Mr. Jack’s mantra of “Everyday we make it, we’ll make it the best we can.”
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