The new Metallica branded whiskey Blackened, is a blend of Bourbon, rye, and straight whiskey created by master distiller and blender Dave Pickerell, well known for his work at Maker’s Mark.
Though probably delicious even before Metallica gets its sound into it, the most interesting part of the whiskey is exactly that. According to Metallica lead guitarist Kirk Hammett “This is a whiskey that has our musical stamp, it’s something the world has not experienced before and gives one the opportunity to truly ‘taste the music.’”
The whiskey gains “the music” by exposing it to “Black Noise”, a “sonic-enhancement” process that uses Metallica’s music to help “shape the flavor” of the whiskey. The whiskey is aged by traditional means before being exposed to the power of metal, and the blackening process serves to enhance the flavors by vibrating the barrels and their contents on a molecular level releasing the deeper flavors from the wood and infusing the whiskey more deeply.
The idea behind Black Noise came from time Pickerell spent at West Point, home to the world’s largest church organ. When it hit its lowest note, “the whole building would tremble, it would really shake your guts,” according to Pickerell. He suggested that using these super low-wave frequencies could affect and improve the whiskey aging process. Enter Metallica, a band so appreciative of low bass filled tones they had Meyer Sound build custom subwoofer arrays that allowed them to pump up the low register for their concerts. The subwoofer hit the notes and frequencies Pickerell was looking for, and Blackened was ready to rock!
The brand claims that the result of all that rock is the honey-amber hued spirit has notes of “burnt caramel, oak and honey” on the nose and “moderate hints of spice upon first sip.” The taste includes “notes of honey, cinnamon, allspice, clove and mint”, finishing smoothly with flavors of “butterscotch, maple, and honey” We hope to update this article with verification of that claim once we get a chance to try it for ourselves.
Blackened is planning to be rolled out in limited markets by September 29, matching up with dates for Metallica’s fall North American tour.