How Blackened Batch 100 Distills The Pure Essence Of Metallica
Is there anything more metal than blasting Metallica at a barrel of whiskey to make it taste better? This is literally how Metallica’s Blackened American Whiskey gets its flavour. No, really. The good people of Sweet Amber Distilling Co., as part of the finishing process, have developed the BLACK NOISE™ system, in which low frequency sounds vibrate the whiskey inside the barrel to tease flavours out of the wood. So, naturally, it being Metallica, the drink gets a whole load of The Four Horsemen pumped into it. Science, like.
Well, always looking for ways to go one louder, for their special Batch 100, this time they’ve decided to capture the energy and volume of the band onstage, by blasting some adrenaline-pumping live recordings at the barrels alongside some stone-cold classics from the studio. Remember last summer when ‘Tallica thrashed the hell out of Twickenham Stadium? Fun, wasn’t it? And really, really madly energetic and exciting and thrilling and brilliant. Now imagine that in a glass. That’s what Metallica have done here: bottled lightning. And given it flavours of burnt caramel, oak, honey, cinnamon, allspice, clove and mint.
There’s a gag here to be made about giving it to us with both barrels, but we’re too distracted by the killer playlist, put together by master distiller/blender and U.S. army veteran Rob Dietrich and curated by drummer Lars Ulrich. The good news from the drummer: Rob is not only grand at mixing the drinks, he’s also not a poser.
“When I look at Rob’s playlist, I love the selections,” Lars says. “I love the variety and I love that he’s gone for two deeper live tracks from the Damaged Justice tour. I love seeing both the Binge & Purge and Through the Never eras represented. And he even tapped the Helping Hands album, so it’s clear he is not a part-timer!”
“I wanted to add live versions to show the connection of the fans to the music, to the band, and to the whiskey,” explains Rob of how he picked what to thrash the barrels with. “Nothing Else Matters is an acoustic version from the band’s first Helping Hands Benefit Show that James (Hetfield – Metallica co-founder, guitarist and vocalist) verbally dedicated to Blackened’s founding Master Distiller, Dave Pickerell just days after his passing. One is a song we listened to over and over again when I was deployed to Somalia during Operation Restore Hope and Operation Continue Hope. It was one of our anthems, and the energy of the crowd in this live version is incredible.”
Presumably, the effect of pummelling the barrels with these live cuts will mean that, when you take a sip and someone asks if you like the taste, you’ll respond ‘Yea-heah!’ We’re joking, of course. Although you will really like the taste.
To celebrate this milestone batch, available in the UK and Germany now via Spirited Gifts, Batch 100 is being sold in a very special limited edition box set, featuring, among other swag, 12-inch vinyl picture discs of the playlist and the first edition of the band’s Blackened Zine. And, obviously, a bottle of whiskey. Obviously.
Blackened Batch 100 is available to order now from Spirited Gifts.
And if you fancy feeling like a barrel of delicious whiskey, Rob’s awesome playlist of live Metallica madness is below!
1. Blackened (Live)
2. Creeping Death (Live)
3. The Unforgiven (Live)
1. Disposable Heroes
2. Fade to Black
3. Spit Out the Bone
2. …And Justice for All
3. Nothing Else Matters (Live Acoustic)
1. Leper Messiah
2. One (Live)
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