On the rock? Metallica’s new rye whiskey listened to their ‘Ride the Lightning’ LP while it aged

Blackened Metallica whisky

Fittingly, the limited edition has been named Rye the Lightning

After releasing the first Blackened American whiskey, Metallica is giving fans an encore.

The heavy metal veterans, together with Blackened’s master distiller Rob Dietrich, have unveiled a new limited edition called Rye the Lightning. If the name strikes you as somewhat familiar, that’s because the rye whiskey was inspired by the band’s acclaimed sophomore album Ride the Lightning.

The expression, which is made up of Kentucky straight ryes aged between five and eight years, was double finished in Madeira wine and Caribbean rum casks for a period of two to 14 weeks each. As with the other whiskeys in the Blackened line, the rye also underwent the proprietary Black Noise sonic-enhancement process. In other words, it was blasted with the aforementioned six-times-platinum album while sitting in the finishing barrels.

Blackened Metallica whisky
Naturally, the rye is best enjoyed while listening to “Ride the Lightning”

According to Blackened, Metallica’s music actually leads to more flavour and colour. Essentially, the sonic vibrations shake the finishing barrels and increase the interaction between the wood and whiskey. The resulting 90-proof spirit is said to have notes of dried fig, hay, pinewood, pear and rum cake on the nose, along with clover honey, mint, corn husk, sugar cane, walnut and cinnamon on the palate.

“I absolutely love the high spice and earthy notes in American rye whiskey,” Dietrich said in a statement. “I wanted to play with those flavor profiles by bringing a symmetry of subtle flavour elements by combining not just one, but two different cask finishes to the whiskey, creating a complex balance of sweet and savoury.”

Blackened Metallica whisky
Blackened’s master distiller Rob Dietrich worked with Metallica on the new expression

Metal heads may be interested to know that Dietrich and Metallica didn’t pummel the rye with the original version of Ride the Lightning, either. To amp it up a notch, the duo created a playlist from Metallica’s 2012 Orion Music Festival set—the only time the band has played the album live in its entirety.

“The vibe from the crowd at the first Orion Music Festival was electrifying,” bassist Rob Trujillo added. “And it’s really cool that we get to capture that energy in this release.”

Fans can even download a digital version of the playlist, which features hits like hit singles “Fade to Black” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” by scanning a QR code on the Blackened website or on the bottle’s packaging.

Available at select retailers, Rye the Lightning will set you back around US$70 (S$97) a bottle. Bottoms up, thrashers.


This story was first published on Robb Report USA