The first female assistant distiller in the history of the Jack Daniel Distillery will share her expertise at a dinner and whiskey tasting in Chattanooga later this month.
The evening with Lexie Phillips will feature a gourmet dinner with each of the five courses paired with a different Jack Daniel's whiskey.
"To be the first woman in this role is an honor, a privilege and a responsibility," she says of her position with the legendary distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. "The more successful female whiskey makers we have in positions like mine, the more young women will see that these roles are possible for them. I'm excited to be able to inspire the next generation of women to enter the field."
Phillips had a nose for the business of distilling from early on. She was raised just outside Lynchburg in Estill Springs, Tennessee, in the shadow of the nation's oldest registered distillery.
"Jack Daniel's has always been a part of my life," she notes.
Phillips followed in the footsteps of dozens of family members who've worked at the distillery, joining the team in 2013 in quality control and distillery operations as lead operator. She was named assistant distiller in 2021, collaborating each day with master distiller Chris Fletcher on whiskey innovation.
"Lexie spent years developing her whiskey-making skills right here at Jack Daniel's, and over the past year in her new role, she's demonstrated a natural talent for her craft," Fletcher says. "She's also opening the door for a lot of women who may see our industry as traditionally male-dominated. She helps make our Tennessee whiskey the best it can be, and I'm proud and grateful to be able to work alongside her every day."
Phillips regards the launch of the brand's first age-stated whiskey in more than 100 years as one of the distillery's proudest achievements in the past year. An age statement is optional for whiskey makers, but this release is meant to honor the whiskey Jack Daniel was bottling at the end of the 1800s, according to the company. Even the hand-drawn label is a throwback to the image that appeared on the company's last age-stated bottles a century ago. Just 24,000 bottles of Jack Daniel's 10-Year-Old Tennessee Whiskey were included in the limited release in late 2021.
In her role as assistant distiller, Phillips is also a brand ambassador for Jack Daniel's, traveling the country conducting tastings and sharing her knowledge of the famous sipping whiskey at events such as the spirited evening planned for Stir on Thursday, March 31.
If you go
— What: Jack Daniel’s and Stir dinner and whiskey tasting
— When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 31
— Where: Stir, 1444 Market St. (inside the Chattanooga Choo Choo)
— Tickets: $95.
— Reservations: stirchattanooga.com
The dinner will be a five-course affair featuring one-of-a-kind single-barrel whiskeys paired with chef-curated dishes.
1. Amuse bouche: James River oysters, spiked apple mignonette, candied bacon, lemon crème and microgreens. Whiskey pairing: Jack Daniel's Tennessee Rye & Ginger Cocktail
2. Orange chili-glaze pork belly with goat cheese creme, brioche and local honey gastrique. Whiskey pairing: Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Select.
3. Shaved Brussels sprouts with Belgian endive, spiced pecans, gorgonzola, orange supreme, bread-and-butter pickled radishes and apple matchsticks. Whiskey pairing: Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Rye.
4. Braised short ribs with celeriac grits, charred broccolini, fried cornbread and pan jus. Whiskey pairing: Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Barrel Proof
5. Dark chocolate and goat cheese fudge brownie with macerated rhubarb and cracked pecan brittle. Whiskey pairing: Jack Daniel's Gentleman Jack Banana Creme Cocktail