Blackened Whiskey (2018)
Blackened is the Metallica whiskey. There’s not much about the bottle design or label that screams Metallica, which I find a plus. It also makes me believe that they took this thing quite seriously, and weren’t just looking to cash in on oblivious fans of the band that thought it’d be cool to own a bottle.
Also, the involvement of the late master distiller Dave Pickerell lends this project credibility. Blackened is a blend of straight whiskies sourced from a number of undisclosed distilleries. The whiskey is finished in so-called “black brandy barrels” (is that a thing?), and treated with “Black Noise”, which is best described as sonic enhancement through Metallica’s music.
Although I should be careful using the term enhancement, as I’ve yet to taste it. So let’s do that, shall we?
Blackened Whiskey (45%, Batch #82, 2018)
Nose: A hint of oranges and aniseed, as well as resin and oak shavings. Touches of sweet fudge and dark caramel as well. Finally a whiff rose petals and strawberries.
Taste: A hint of menthol, alongside some wood spices. Although I have to say the arrival is quite sweet. Honeycomb, caramel. Some bitter orange peel too, as well as charred oak.
Finish: Lots of oak and spices. Medium in length.
Certainly a solid whiskey, and at good value, it seems (if you’re buying in the States, that is). A bit brash maybe, but I guess that fits perfectly Metallica brand.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.