- DISTILLER: Produced by Blackened American Whiskey
- MASH BILL: Undisclosed Kentucky distillery
- AGE: 5-8 years
- YEAR: 2022
- PROOF: 90 Proof (45% ABV)
- MSRP: $70
SHARE WITH: Folks who enjoyed popular finished ryes like Barrell’s Seagrass or A Midwinter Night’s Dram by High West.
WORTH THE PRICE: Yes! It’s more affordable than most of its competition and holds up against them as well.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bottle. This is an excellent representation of finished rye that anyone would be glad to buy at least once.
OVERALL: Legendary heavy metal band Metallica has a new limited edition whiskey, Blackened Rye The Lightning™ which is named after their 6-times-platinum sophomore album. Not only did they borrow the name for inspiration, but they also used a recording from the only time they performed the album in full at a live show as part of their Black Noise™ sonic enhancement process.
As for the whiskey itself, Blackened Master Blender Rob Dietrich hand selected a blend of 5- to 8-year rye whiskeys that were vatted then finished in Madeira wine and Caribbean rum casks for two to 14 weeks each. The resulting flavor profile is a harmonious blend of chocolate ice cream, strawberry hard candy, and green apple skin, with prominent honey, spearmint, and black pepper notes on the finish. The two cask finishes work well together with the rye blend to amplify all the aromas and flavors, leaving nothing out of sync. I was pleasantly surprised to see how much balance Rob Dietrich was able to achieve with this release and it indicates that he’s continued to hone Blackened’s blending technique, which spells good things for their future.
If you’ve previously been hesitant to try Blackened for fear of it being a gimmick or yet another poorly executed celebrity whiskey, I’d certainly recommend giving this rye a try. Bob Bennett previously reviewed Blackened’s Cask Strength Bourbon awarding it a “Bottle” rating and I’m inclined to say that this expression is even better. As a result, I’d enthusiastically say the same—buy a bottle! And if you really want to “Fight Fire With Fire,” try it side by side with Barrell’s Seagrass or High West’s A Midwinter Night’s Dram.
RYE THE LIGHTNING™ was double finished in Madeira and Rum casks. It is during the rum cask finishing that the whiskey undergoes the proprietary BLACK NOISE™ sonic enhancement process that uses the low hertz frequencies from Metallica’s music to vibrate the barrels, causing a greater interaction between the whiskey and the wood, forcing the liquid further into the barrel and extracting more flavor and color.
NOSE: Dried fig, hay, pinewood, pear, and rum cake.
TASTE: Clover honey, mint, corn husk, sugar cane, walnut, and cinnamon.