If a band is a small business, then it stands to economic reason that the more diverse its product offerings, the more robust their profits should be. Metallica, no stranger to making a buck, is set to release its own brand of whiskey. Named after the song “Blackened” off their 1988 album, “…And Justice For All,” Blackened American Whiskey is a joint venture with master distiller and chemical engineer Dave Pickerell of Maker’s Mark fame. There are a few twists that make this spirit something more than “just slapping a Metallica label on a pre-existing mediocre whiskey,” according to the band’s press release. First off, this won’t a small batch, boutique whiskey. Rather, Pickerell has selected a blend of bourbons, ryes, and whiskeys from places far and wide around North America. Yes that right, it’s not one type of bourbon, rye, or whiskey blended, but rather many.
In keeping with the black theme, the blends are housed in black brandy barrels and then pummeled with “low hertz sound waves so intense that it actually enhances the molecular interaction and ultimately the finish of the whiskey.” These sound waves were created with a special subwoofer developed by Meyer Sound after Pickerell — who was a professor of chemistry– thought about the effect sound waves from a church organ had on him while teaching at West Point. He said that when the lowest note on the organ was played, “the whole building would tremble, it would really shake your guts.” This got him thinking about the effect certain frequencies would have on the molecular composition of whiskey. So, with a little experimentation using Metallica’s music amplified through the Meyer Sound subwoofer, the whiskeys are treated with the thick sounds from the band’s catalog. Of course, looking for more ways to tie in the blackened theme (and make more money), the band is now trying to patent this process as “Black Noise.”
Okay, so that’s all well and good, but what does this mean for the whiskey? Each bottle will come with its own playlist of “Black Noise” selections available on Apple Music and Spotify. So screw all that Pumpkin Spice crap, this fall it’s Blackened American Whiskey from Metallica.
Oh, and the band kicks off their Worldwired Tour of North America in Madison, Wisconsin on September 2nd. There’s a pre-show event that afternoon/evening where fans can sip Metallica’s newest whiskey at Wando’s on 602 University Avenue in Madison from 5 to 8 p.m.