Metallica Blackened

Metallica songs shape new Blackened whiskey

May 18, 2020
By Alana House

A new whiskey that’s literally been shaped by Metallica’s music has been released in the US.

Sweet Amber Distilling Co launched BLACKENED American Whiskey’s Batch 100 in a limited edition box set that also includes two 12” vinyl picture discs of the custom Metallica playlist used in the finishing process of the whiskey.

BLACKENED, a blend of bourbons and ryes, was launched by Metallica and the legendary Master Distiller Dave Pickerell with Batch 81 in 2018 to honour the year the band was founded. In June of 2019, Master Distiller and Blender Rob Dietrich joined the fold after the passing of Pickerell, overseeing the sourcing, blending and cask finishing of barrels for each batch.

BLACKENED uses a proprietary sonic-enhancement process dubbed Black Noise, with the low hertz vibrations of Metallica’s music pummelling the black brandy casks during the finishing process, agitating the whiskey and extracting more flavour from the wood.

Lars Ulrich Metallica

Each batch of BLACKENED has a unique playlist curated by the band members themselves. The Batch 100 Playlist is a special collaboration with music selected by Dietrich and curated by Metallica co-founder Lars Ulrich (above), which resulted in an eclectic mix of rare, live and studio recordings from various albums across the band’s career.

Dietrich approached the playlist for Batch 100 on both a technical and deeply personal level.

“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.

“‘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.

“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.“

According to the Batch 100 tasting notes “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 flavour 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.

BLACKENED American Whiskey Batch 100 is available in an exclusive box set for $US149.99. Visit for more details.

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