The Truth About Metallica's New Whiskey

Blackened Whiskey, launched in 2018, was created as a collaboration between former Maker's Mark Master Distiller Dave Pickerell and, presumably, Metallica's realization that they could put their name on stuff other than tee shirts and Hot Topic accouterments. The potable is separated from the rest of the pack by two notable features: First, according to GoBourbon, it's aged in black brandy casks, allowing for some on-the-nose nomenclature. Secondly, like college roommates in thin-walled dorm rooms everywhere, it is forced to listen to Metallica at all hours while it matures. The band's newest whiskey release, Batch 100, was serenaded with an all-new mix of Metallica, carefully curated by drummer Lars Ulrich.

This is far from the first hooch to be pigeonholed into a specific musical preference during its formative period. Food & Wine reports that a Louisville distillery aged its brandy to David Bowie and Lenny Kravitz, while Dock Street Brewing Company in Philly played non-stop Wu Tang for its beer for six months. But this is different. This is metal.

Doesn't come in a jar. Missed opportunity.

Per Blackened's promotional site, the whiskey isn't just caressed with sweet tones. It's assaulted by them. "After the whiskeys have been combined in the black brandy casks for finishing, they're jolted back to life by the unmistakable, earth-shattering music of Metallica," the site explains. "Using our proprietary sonic-enhancement system BLACK NOISE™, the whiskey is pummeled by sound, causing it to seep deeper into the barrel, where it picks up additional wood flavor characteristics."

Bonkers? Sure, at first blush, but the principle is sound. Pause for uncontrollable laughter. In theory, the vibrations from the music, especially the deep bass provided by a specially-designed subwoofer setup, can help to step up the pace on the aging process, knocking particulates loose from the inside of the barrel and adding flavor more quickly. Reviewers across the internet have hesitated to make solid statements as to whether or not a Metallica-specific sound diet has a pronounced effect on the final product. That said, as "sonic-enhanced" distilling does seem to be practice which is gaining traction, one can only speculate about what comes next. Baby Mozart brand vodka? Lizzo ouzo? Everclear Everclear? The possibilities are endless.