Blackened: a whiskey that ages to the sound of Metallica

U.S. thrash metal band Metallica’s Blackened whiskey has a new edition: Blackened x Willett.

Blackened American Whiskey introduced its new Masters of Whiskey series, starting with the release of Blackened X Willett, a Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey aged in Madeira barrels.

To obtain this very special whiskey, Metallica decided to work with two of today’s most innovative distillers: Rob Dietrich of Blackened and Drew Kulsveen of Willett Distillery.

The production is based on both light and stronger rye whiskey recipes selected by Rob Dietrich and Drew Kulsveen from the Willett family’s reserves.

Blackened x Willett is then aged for about 6 and a half years in American white oak barrels. Its complexity is balanced to perfection with notes of sugared rhubarb on the nose, brown sugar, a corn wrapper, cigar box and vanilla.

Upon tasting, the first sip releases notes of butterscotch, earthy mint and freshly cut hay. The finish delivers a hint of vanilla, cinnamon butter and black walnut.

The blend of rye whiskies are finished in wood barrels for 14 weeks, imparting subtle notes of dark fruits, hints of honey and sweeter flavors of butterscotch and cinnamon that pair nicely with the spicier notes of the rye.

But what makes this representative Metallica whiskey very special is that during the finishing process the barrels undergo a low-frequency process known as Black Noise, accompanied by Metallica’s music.

The sound waves visibly shake the finishing barrels, causing greater interaction between the whiskey and the wood, allowing for better flavor and color extraction.

The 11-track playlist for the Black Noise process was chosen by Rob and Drew and sequenced by Lars Ulrich, co-founder and drummer of Metallica.


More on Blackened

In 2018, Metallica announced their partnership with whiskey king, master distiller Dave Pickerrell, to create their own label, The Blackened, named after one of their first songs on the 1988 album ‘…. And Justice for All’. Since its release, Metallica opted for aging with Black Noise.


Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.


Join the community on Reddit

Spirits Hunters is a community dedicated to spirits and the world of mixology. Feel free to talk about the world of mixology and bartending here!