Metallica reveals collaborative whiskey line

American whiskey Blackened, the brand co-founded by rock band Metallica, has launched a Kentucky straight rye expression finished in Madeira casks as the first bottling in a new range.

In 2018, members of Metallica partnered with Whistlepig master distiller Dave Pickerell to launch a whiskey that had received musical treatment. Barrels of the whiskey, Blackened, are fed with sound waves to enhance and finish the spirit. The latest bottling, Blackened x Willet Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey Finished in Madeira Casks, is the first expression in the brand’s Masters of Whiskey Series. The expression was created by Blackened master distiller and blender Rob Dietrich and Drew Kulsveen, master distiller of Kentucky's Willett Distillery. The new series will combine the strengths of Dietrich and prominent whiskey makers to ‘reimagine craft whiskey’ and create more complex bottlings. The inaugural release starts with a base of low-rye and high-rye whiskey recipes that were hand-picked by Dietrich and Kulsveen from the Willett Family Estate Reserve Selection. The resulting liquid was aged for six and a half years in white American oak casks and finished in Madeira casks for up to 14 weeks. The whiskey has notes of sweet rhubarb, brown sugar, corn husk, cigar box and vanilla on the nose. The palate offers buttery caramel, earthy mint and fresh-cut hay, with a finish of vanilla, cinnamon butter and dark walnut. "We couldn't think of a more impactful first release for the series than a collaboration with Willett Distillery," said Dietrich. "I wanted the first expression in the series to be a rye, and as a huge fan of Willett and everything they produce, I felt it was the obvious first choice. I couldn't be more honoured to work with Drew and the great team at Willett Distillery.” Blackened x Willett Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey Finished in Madeira Casks is available in limited quantities for RRP US$139.99.