Metallica's BLACKENED American Whiskey launches cask-strength, Madeira-finished rye in collaboration with Willett
BLACKENED American Whiskey has announced the launch of their new "Masters of Whiskey Series" with an exciting collaboration with Willett Distillery.
BLACKENED x Willett Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey Finished in Madeira Casks is a cask-strength expression made up of hand-picked barrels from the Willett Family Estate Reserve Selection. High rye and low rye barrels were selected and blended by BLACKENED's Master Distiller and Blender Rob Dietrich, and Willett's Master Distiller, Drew Kulsveen. Though there is no age statement, the selected ryes were aged for an average of 6.5 years, then finished for up to 14 weeks in Madeira casks before being bottled at cask strength.
During finishing, the rye blend uses the same "BLACK NOISE" finishing process used by all Blackened releases, where the barrels are exposed to low-hertz frequencies of a unique playlist of Metallica's music, which vibrates the finishing barrels. According to the distillery, that vibration causes a "greater interaction between the whiskey and the wood, thereby extracting more flavors and colors."
The Portugese Madeira casks give the rye "subtle dark fruit notes, overtones of honey, and slightly sweeter flavors of caramel and cinnamon that pair perfectly with the spicier notes of the rye," according to a prepared release.
This new rye is bottled at 109.6 proof and will be available in limited quantities starting this September for a suggested retail price of $140.
The Masters of Whiskey Series will continue with future collaborations between Dietrich and other whiskey makers to explore other new and unique whiskies. BLACKENED was started as a project helmed by Metallica and legendary distiller Dave Pickerell, who passed away in 2018. Dietrich, a veteran of Stranahan's Single Malt Whiskey, was then tapped to become Blackened's Master Distiller and Blender.