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American

Blackened Rye The Lightning 2024

$69.99

OVERALL
RATING

8

Whiskey Review: Blackened Rye The Lightning 2024

Tasting Notes:

About:
A blend of straight rye whiskeys that are vatted and transferred for finishing to Madeira wine and Caribbean rum casks for 2-14 weeks each, where they undergo the Black Noise sonic enhancement process. It is bottled at 92 proof and priced at $69.99.
Appearance:
The amber color in this glass is lighter in measure, with an accompanying swirl revealing moderate legs and suitable viscosity.
Nose:
The aromatics have a light, fruit-forward note, reflecting a solid amount of blueberry. Accompanying it is a range of other smells, including creme brulee, a light hint of oak, some crisp apple, a hint of gingerbread, and a subtle drop of rye grain.
Palate:
The palate has a bevy of flavors, all coming together in a lovely swirl. Some notes of graham crackers, creme brulee, oak, crisp apples, baked bread, and coriander are present.
Finish:
The finish here is to the point, being crisp and dry as it drifts into a moderate ending.
Comments:
Blackened Rye The Lightning 2024 is a lovely cornucopia of flavors across the board, giving Sweet Amber yet another solid offering to its portfolio.
Blackened Rye The Lightning 2024 review
We review Blackened Rye The Lightning 2024, a blend of straight rye whiskeys that are vatted and transferred for finishing to Madeira wine and Caribbean rum casks for 2-14 weeks each, where they undergo the Black Noise sonic enhancement process. (image via Sweet Amber Distilling)

Editor’s Note: We received a review sample of this whiskey from the brand. However, in accordance with our editorial policies, this has not influenced the outcome of our review in any way.

Sweet Amber Distilling, established in 2018 in partnership between late whiskey luminary Dave Pickerell and rock icons Metallica, is guided under the skilled master distiller Rob Dietrich, the former master distiller for Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey. Dietrich, among other accomplishments since taking over, has continued to master the brand’s Blackened Black Noise sonic-enhancement process, which uses low hertz sound waves to cause the whiskey to reverberate at a fast rate, interacting with the oak staves of the barrel, measurably releasing wood compounds and flavors.

Among the offerings Sweet Amber brings to the table is its occasional Rye The Lightning expression, named after the band’s 6x platinum sophomore album, Ride the Lightning. The 2022 edition of this whiskey received Gold from the John Barleycorn Awards, Best Finished Whiskey from Breaking Bourbon, and a 93 rating from Whisky Advocate. It was awarded the #14 spot on Whisky Advocate’s 2022 Top 20 Most Exciting Whiskies of the World.

What’s in the bottle

Blackened Rye The Lightning 2024, the focus of this review, follows in the footsteps of the 2022 variant. It is crafted from a blend of straight rye whiskeys hand-selected by Dietrich. The whiskeys are vatted and transferred for finishing to Madeira wine and Caribbean rum casks for 2-14 weeks each, where they undergo the Black Noise process.

“When we launched the first edition of Rye The Lighting in 2022, I knew we had something special,” said Dietrich at the time of this whiskey’s release. “I absolutely love the hay spice and dark earthy notes in American rye whiskey, so it was an adventure to play around with a creative flavor profile through cask finishing. I was thrilled that consumers loved this whiskey as much as we did, and with this limited release, I tried to capture some of the innovative magic of the first expression, but with a slightly new spin by upping the proof a couple of notches, while applying non-chill filtering and using a rye with a different mash bill with different types of Madeira and Rum finishes.”

Rye The Lightning is non-chill filtered and bottled at 92 proof. It is priced at $69.99.

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the former founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award-winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y globally. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert, and judge, he has written extensively about the subject, been interviewed in various media outlets, and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions.

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