Batch 100 Of Metallica's Blackened Whiskey Drops As A Collector's Item - The Whiskey Wash

Batch 100 Of Metallica’s Blackened Whiskey Drops As A Collector’s Item

Back in the fall of 2018 we were introduced to Blackened Whiskey, a spirits project between legendary heavy metal band Metallica and late master distiller Dave Pickerell. Blackened is a blend of bourbon and rye whiskeys, finished in black brandy casks that are influenced through low hertz vibrations of Metallica’s music being played nearby, pummeling “the black brandy casks during the finishing process, agitating the whiskey and extracting more flavor from the wood.” 

Blackened is now on batch 100, and those behind it, Sweet Amber Distilling, have decided to turn it into a collector’s item, unveiling Blackened American Whiskey Batch 100 as a limited edition box set. What’s included in this, besides the whiskey itself, are two two 12” vinyl picture discs of the custom Metallica playlist used in the finishing process of the whiskey, as well as the first edition of the Blackened Zine.

Blackened American Whiskey Batch 100

Blackened American Whiskey Batch 100 (image via Sweet Amber Distilling)

The playlist referenced above is something common to the production process of Blackened, in that each batch of this whiskey is normally exposed to a playlist created by the band members themselves. For batch 100 it was instead selected by the brand’s master distiller and blender Rob Dietrich, who took over after Pickerell passed away, and curated “by Metallica co-founder Lars Ulrich, which resulted in an eclectic mix of rare, live and studio recordings from various albums across the band’s incomparable career.”

“I wanted to add live versions to show the connection of the fans to the music, to the band, and to the whiskey,” said Dietrich in a prepared statement. “‘Nothing Else Matters’ is an acoustic version from the band’s first Helping Hands Benefit Show that James (Hetfield – Metallica co-founder, guitarist and vocalist) verbally dedicated to Blackened’s founding Master Distiller, Dave Pickerell just days after his passing. ‘One’ is a song we listened to over and over again when I was deployed to Somalia during Operation Restore Hope and Operation Continue Hope. It was one of our anthems, and the energy of the crowd in this live version is incredible.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to be able to create a whiskey and pour so much of myself personally into the process. Music and distilling are two things I have dedicated my life to, and I do not take for granted how rare it is to be able to blend, literally, these worlds.”

“When I look at Rob’s playlist,” added Ulrich, “I love the selections. I love the variety and I love that he’s gone for two deeper live tracks from the Damaged Justice tour. I love seeing both the Binge & Purge and Through the Never eras represented.

“And he even tapped the Helping Hands album, so it’s clear he is not a part-timer!”

The Blackened Zine, meanwhile, offers commentary from Dietrich and Ulrich on the batch 100 playlist. Also included in it is “iconic imagery of the band and Dietrich captured by legendary photographer Danny Clinch, with behind-the-scenes glimpses of Metallica’s HQ and rehearsal space.”

Blackened American Whiskey Batch 100 is pricing around $150. You’ll find the playlist for this batch below, and as for official tasting notes, it is said by the brand that “inside black brandy barrels, the liquid is bathed in low hertz sound waves so intense that it actually intensifies the molecular interaction of the whiskey with the wood and, ultimately, the finish. Being thrashed by the Black Noise sonic enhancement process helps give the spirit a warm, honey-amber hue. Burnt caramel, oak and honey are present on the nose and moderate hints of spice upon first sip.

“The flavor of Blackened builds with notes of honey, cinnamon, allspice, clove and mint, with unexpected hints of apricot lingering underneath. Expect a long and smooth finish with slightly creamy hints of butterscotch taffy, maple and honey.”

Disc 1
Side A
1. Blackened (Live)
2. Creeping Death (Live)
3. The Unforgiven (Live)
Side B
1. Disposable Heroes
2. Fade to Black
3. Spit Out the Bone
Disc 2                          
Side C
1. Whiplash
2. …And Justice for All
3. Nothing Else Matters (Live Acoustic)
Side D
1. Leper Messiah
2. One (Live)
3. Battery


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