Jack Daniel’s names Chris Fletcher new Master Distiller

Chris Fletcher worked as Assistant Master Distiller under Jeff Arnett and is the grandson of former Master Distiller, Frank Bobo. Jack Daniel named him Master Distiller on Wednesday. (Photo courtesy of Jack Daniel’s)

LYNCHBURG — On Wednesday, Jack Daniel’s Distillery announced that Chris Fletcher would become the eighth person ever to be named Master Distiller.

Fletcher follows Jeff Arnett who took over the position in April 2008 and stepped down in September.

Fletcher, 39, had previously served for six years as Assistant Master Distiller and will be responsible for the overall quality of Jack Daniel’s from “grain to glass,” innovation and serve as a global ambassador.  In addition, he will oversee the distillery’s new “Distillers in Training” program which aims to recruit, teach, and mentor the next generation of whiskey makers.  

Born and raised in Lynchburg, and now carrying on a family tradition, Fletcher is the grandson of former 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 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.”

Fletcher’s work at Jack Daniel’s stretches back to 2001 when he worked as a part-time tour guide while attending college. He graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from Tennessee Technological University in 2003 and began work as a chemist with Brown-Forman in Research and Development for eight years. Following several years working in the bourbon industry, Fletcher came back home to the Jack Daniel Distillery and was named Assistant Master Distiller.

“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,” said 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 three-month old son, Payne Thomas, live in Lynchburg, Tennessee. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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