Metallica has partnered with master distiller Dave Pickerell to create Blackened, a unique blend of straight American whiskey. Pickerell, a chemical engineer renowned in the spirits community, selected the blend of bourbons, ryes, and whiskeys from across North America, housed them in black brandy barrels and inundated them with low hertz soundwaves from Metallica songs that were so intense that they enhanced the molecular interaction and the finish of the whiskey.
Pickerell was inspired by using sound to manipulate whiskey while working as a Professor of Chemistry at West Point, where the sound of world's largest church organ would reverberate through the walls of the lab and, according to the distiller, “really shake your guts.”
The sound wave on the front of the bottle is the actual digital wave from the Metallica song “Blackened” and each bottle of the inaugural batch is labeled 081, to honor 1981, the year the band was formed. Each batch of 5,000 bottles of Blackened American Whiskey will come with an accompanying Spotify or Apple Music playlist of Metallica songs that were played to shape the flavor of the whiskey.
Metallica said in a statement, “We are fortunate to have a long-time collaboration with Meyer Sound, who have engineered a proprietary subwoofer that amplifies the low frequency sound waves and all the planets aligned. It just so happens that the low-frequency range needed for Dave's vision was the range you hear in our music and the process of sonic-enhancement we call 'Black Noise' was born.”
Blackened will be available in stores, restaurants, and bars surrounding a handful of U.S. tour dates this fall and online at ThinkLiquor.com or SpiritedGifts.com. The band said its goal is to “make a whiskey that fits into the Metallica experience and sets itself apart from all the others. We can't wait for you to taste it!”
Ironically, Metallica frontman James Hetfield has been sober since 2001 and is unlikely to give Blackened a try. He told us a while back about the moment he decided to get help: “My wife threw me out of the house and I went to rehearsal, and she could not believe that I had done that, and said, 'You've got to check yourself in somewhere,' and I said, 'Nah, no way, I'm the singer for Metallica, I can't get help. I don't need help.' A lot of denial. She was very adamant about me seeking the help and I went in, I think, for her and for my family.”