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Whisk(e)y Reviews

MAY 2020


A Glimpse Inside
Woodford Reserve with Master Distiller
Chris Morris

I recently had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Chris Morris, Master Distiller for Brown-Forman, about the brand he has helped become so popular.


From humble beginnings to its rise as an international brand, Chris has been there overseeing and designing Woodford Reserve whiskey. With a career spanning nearly 50 years in the bourbon industry he has seen his fair share of ups and downs, and learned a lot along the way. From his experience as the 7th master distiller at Brown-Forman to creating the bourbon tasting wheel many of us use to review bourbon, he has been deeply routed in the world of whiskey.

Chris was nice enough to answer a handful of questions and tell some quite enjoyable tales about the bourbon world he has involved with so much of his life.


Let's ease into things a bit, what makes Woodford Woodford and how does your distilling process help set you apart from other companies?

Being part of the Brown-Forman distilling process, I see Jack Daniels, Old Forester, and Woodford Reserve products the most. Jack is Jack, it goes its own unique way and follows the Tennessee style of whiskey making. Old Forester is old fashioned and is made as close to that style as possible.


When we came up with the idea for Woodford Reserve, we wanted to be new and global, using finishes and fresh ideas, as well as innovation, to help craft the brand. The idea was to have our own distillery and, at a time when everyone was closing their doors, we decided to start Woodford Reserve. In 1996, it was the 10th distillery to open.