Chris Morris – Master Distiller
Chris Morris is Master Distiller for Woodford Reserve, the seventh since its parent company Brown-Forman began in 1870. A Louisville native, he has spent his working life in the bourbon industry. He is responsible for maintaining the award-winning taste of Woodford Reserve and serves as a brand ambassador at numerous trade and consumer functions. Chris Morris was inducted into the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame in February 2016.
Morris grew up around bourbon as he is one of three generations of his family to work at Brown-Forman. His career began in 1976 as a trainee in the central lab working for the Master Distiller. In 1988 he went to work for Glenmore Distilleries Company and joined United Distillers through its acquisition of Glenmore in 1991.
In 1997 he returned to Brown-Forman and was chosen to begin training as Master Distiller, a position he has held since 2003. He developed the Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection, Double Oaked, Rye and Distillery Series products. In 2015 Morris was given the additional responsibility of Vice President of Whiskey Innovation for Brown-Forman.
As a student of the industry Morris authored the Society of Wine Educator’s Certified Spirits Specialist program, introduced the use of taste notes for bourbon in 1992 and developed the Woodford Reserve Flavor Wheel in 2004.
Morris has served on the Kentucky Distillers’ Association and Kentucky Bourbon Festival’s Board of Directors and as co-chair of the DISCUS Master Distillers Committee. He has also served as a judge at the IWSC and ISC competitions.