Blackened Whiskey: An In-Depth Review

Blackened whiskey is one of Metallica’s new chart-topping whiskies that uses a blend of bourbon, rye, and whiskey and is hand-selected by Dave Pickerell. Once blended, it’s finished in black brandy barrels and put through an enhancement process called Black Noise. So, is blackened whiskey the right choice for you?

Join us as we give our in-depth review of blackened whiskey. 


Blackened Whiskey Whiskey: Brief History


Blackened Whiskey Whiskey: Brief History


Blackened whiskey is an award-winning American whiskey with a unique finish and uses an enhanced black noise process to add extra flavors from the wood. This extraction results in blackened whiskey’s unique taste. The recipe for their blackened whiskey came from Master Distiller Dave Pickerell, who released it in 2018.


Blackened whiskey is now crafted by Master Distiller Rob Dietrich, who joined the group in 2019. Rob is a pro in the whiskey and the music industry, allowing his experience and passion to make him one of the best individuals who can oversee the blending process. Dietrich is widely known for his artistic approach and skills in creating high whiskey flavors.


Using their Black Noise finishing process, each batch of whiskey is blasted with the playlist of Metallica, curated directly from the band. Using low-frequency sound waves, the whiskey is forced to penetrate deep down into the barrel, which extracts more honey, caramel, and vanilla flavors, resulting in a balanced whiskey.


In addition to his ability to create top-notch whiskey flavors, Dietrich has collaborated with James Hetfield, a Metallica frontman, in the creation and launch of Blackened M81, a new cigar series scheduled for release in the near future. 


Blackened Whiskey: In-Depth Review


Blackened Whiskey: In-Depth Review


After the initial swirling technique, you’ll be introduced to flavors of cinnamon, maple syrup, candied ginger and pineapple, roasted oak, licorice, and honey. If you’re drinking Blackened Blown, it has a bit more fruitiness and sweetness that comes into focus afterward, along with a hint of spiciness.


With its finish, it adds more ginger, spice, and fruitiness. Ultimately, it results in an excellent-smelling whiskey with a more pleasing body.


On your first sip, you’ll taste vanilla, clove, black pepper, mint, cinnamon, roasted oak, pear, and honey. The pear and honey flavors move forward into the additional flavors, followed by spice and some roast. With its 45% ABV, it still has a lighter body but a thinner layer of fruity flavors that help make the whiskey more approachable.


After “chewing” the Blackened whiskey, you’ll notice flavors of Asian pear, vanilla, cinnamon, roasted oak, peppercorns, green grape, and white chocolate. The flavors enhance with the “chewing,” increasing spice and sweetness. These combinations create a well-balanced sweetness along the spiciness, oakiness, and sweetness.


As you finish, you’ll start with Asian pear, cinnamon, oak, honey, mint, licorice, and nutmeg. After “chewing,” you’ll get roasted oak, pear, mint, cinnamon, and toasted oak. The whiskey finish, for what it does, accentuates your entire blackened whiskey experience to make the drink feel well-rounded and create a pleasant drink. 


Blackened Whiskey: Our Opinion


So, what’s our opinion on blackened whiskey? Blackened whiskey is the drink that many don’t know about, often referred to as a sleeper whiskey. While its 45% ABV would make you think it’s too thin to give it a high rating, this couldn’t be further from the truth. When purchasing Blackened American Whiskey, you can expect to pay around $45, making it a compelling choice for a whiskey.


Blackened whiskey will quickly make it on your list as one of the best whiskeys you can find under $50. Its finish and Metallica sound waves make it more than enough to make it a mid-shelf whiskey, adding plenty of fruitiness to create a delicious experience. This is entirely based on how the blackened whiskey drinks.


While many might wish that it had a higher ABV, since it’s a blackened whiskey, it was designed that way to expand its audience. If you’re looking for a higher ABV, blackened whiskey also has cask strengths available to choose from.


There’s no doubt that many will find the blackened whiskey a little gimmicky, but master distiller Dave Pickerell was anything but a gimmick. Pickerell was hired by many businesses to oversee several projects and proved more than once that he was not afraid to create something innovative and to push boundaries.


With music from Metallica, it takes someone with a creative side to apply music to whiskey. With its barrel aging process contributing to the whiskey’s ultimate taste, any amount of manipulation has a direct effect on the whiskey. There’s a reason why many whiskey distilleries rotate barrels with each changing season or how others age theirs on a boat.


It’s hard not to smile when you hear of Blackened whiskey’s enhancement process. While it may seem silly initially, you have no idea how influential the process is. This whiskey has a noticeable barrel finish that’s more integrated with its traditional whiskey. 


In the end, there aren’t many whiskeys for under $40 to choose from, which makes blackened whiskey unique enough to make it worth buying. Black Ned whiskey is a pleasant choice, and it’s always great when you can encounter one of these unique whiskeys, making it crowd-pleasingly impressive!


Blackened American Whiskey 750ml


Blackened American Whiskey 750ml


Metallica's latest hit combines the best bourbon, rye, and American whiskey, all carefully chosen by Dave Pickerell. After blending, the whiskey is aged in black Brandy barrels. It's during this aging process that the barrels undergo a special treatment called BLACK NOISE™, where low-frequency sound waves enhance the whiskey's interaction with the barrel, intensifying its flavor.


Blackened Limited Edition 72 Seasons 750ml


Blackened Limited Edition 72 Seasons 750ml



BLACKENED Whiskey pays homage to Metallica's acclaimed new album with its Limited Edition 72 Seasons Batch, utilizing it for auditory enhancement. The bottle prominently showcases the 72 Seasons logo, along with album-inspired elements such as a vibrant yellow capsule adorned with the iconic Metallica M.

Crafted from top-tier straight bourbon and rye whiskeys, BLACKENED® employs the BLACK NOISETM technique to amplify flavors during its finishing process in brandy casks. This award-winning whiskey promises a unique and exceptional drinking experience.


Blackened X Wes Henderson Whiskey Limited Edition 750ml


Blackened X Wes Henderson Whiskey Limited Edition 750ml



WES HENDERSON X BLACKENED Limited Edition, a special blend of Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finished in White Port Wine barrels. This collaboration, the second installment in the Masters of Whiskey Series, brings together Master Distiller Wes Henderson, Co-Founder of Angel's Envy, and Master Distiller Rob Dietrich of BLACKENED.

Crafted from a base of 6-year-old Kentucky straight bourbon, this unique whiskey undergoes finishing in white port wine casks before being non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength.


Blackened American Whiskey Rye 750ml


Blackened American Whiskey Rye 750ml



Master Distiller & Blender Rob Dietrich meticulously crafted a blend of ryes aged between 5 and 8 years, paying homage to Metallica's second album, Ride the Lightning. Following this, the whiskey undergoes a secretive process known as Black Noise. In collaboration with Metallica and their longstanding partners, the innovative sound engineers at Meyer Sound, a unique subwoofer was developed to transmit vibrations through the barrels.


The setlist used during this process was from the Orion Music + More festival, marking the only occasion where the band performed the entire album live (albeit in reverse track order). Brace yourself for the delightful flavors of sugarcane, mint, maize husk, walnut, clove, and clover honey.


Blackened Whiskey: FAQ


1. Is blackened whiskey owned by Metallica?


Given the name Blackened after one of its songs, Blackened whiskey is produced by the Sweet Amber Distilling Company, a combined effort by Metallica and distiller Dave Pickerell.


2. What kind of whiskey is blackened?


Blackened whiskey was born from the innovation of Metallica, working with various experts. This whiskey is an award-winning favorite that blends the finest bourbon and rye whiskeys and is finished in a brandy cask.


3. How long is blackened whiskey aged?


Blackened whiskey is aged 8+ years before combined in brandy casks and the low sound waves of Metallica’s music through the Black Noise finishing process. 


4. Is blackened whiskey smooth?


Blackened whiskey has a long and smooth finish with hints of maple, honey, and butterscotch taffy.


5. Is blackened whiskey a bourbon or whiskey?


Blackened whiskey is a blend of straight bourbon whiskeys distilled in Kentucky and Tennessee. With its bottling at cask strength, it offers its users a bolder flavor than its original.


6. What distillery makes blackened whiskey?


The distillery that makes blackened whiskey is Sweet Amber Distilling Co., finishing its whiskey in brandy casks for an unknown amount of time.