An unlikely collaboration has birthed a new whiskey brand.
Dave Pickerell is master distiller for WhistlePig, and formerly held the same position at Maker’s Mark. The heavy metal band Metallica should need no introduction. Together they created on a new whiskey that will release this fall, called Blackened.
The team behind Blackened, which also includes Meyer Sound and Sweet Amber Distilling Co., uses sonic-enhancement to “envelop the barrels in music.” Inside black brandy barrels, the liquid is hit with low hertz sound waves, played via Metallica songs, at a high level that “intensifies the molecular interaction and ultimately the finish,” the team says.
This does not replace the normal aging process of the whiskeys, the producers add. The whiskey composition is already aged by traditional means. “We’re not trying to cheat time,” explains Pickerell, “This just kicks the finishing process up a notch. The sonic enhancements shake the whiskey molecules to their core. At a low-enough frequency, flavor elements start to work their way out of the barrels and into the blend.”
Metallica and Meyer Sound had already engineered a proprietary subwoofer that could amplify low frequency sound waves that are a hallmark of the band’s music. It was a coincidence that the low-frequency range needed for sonic-enhancement was the same that Metallica frequented in their songs.
Blackened is scheduled to launch later this September, in time for Metallica’s Fall North American tour. Every batch of Blackened will come with an accompanying playlist at blackenedwhiskey.com and on major streaming platforms. Consumers will be able to listen to the songs that played into the liquor during the finishing process.