METALLICA’s JAMES HETFIELD: The Black Album ‘Changed Our Lives’
In honor of METALLICA‘s iconic self-titled album, widely known as The Black Album, Blackened American Whiskey announced its limited edition The Black Album Whiskey Pack. A true collector’s item for both whiskey enthusiasts and METALLICA fans alike, the pack features a 750ml bottle of Batch 114 finished with Blackened‘s proprietary Black Noise sonic-enhancement process tuned to the songs of The Black Album. The pack also includes a collectible whiskey coin and the Snakebyte Cocktail Booklet, featuring riffs of the classic whiskey «Snake Bite» drink created by some of today’s rock star bartenders from across the country, and named after James Hetfield‘s signature ESP Snakebyte guitar. Now available at retailers in select markets and nationwide on BlackenedWhiskey.com.
Launched in 2018, Blackened was born of a collaboration between kindred spirits METALLICA and the late master distiller Dave Pickerell. The whiskey is created from a blend of the finest, straight bourbons and ryes that have been aged for an average of eight-plus years and finished in black brandy casks to the low hertz frequencies of METALLICA‘s music through the Black Noise sonic-enhancement process. The low frequencies pummel the whiskey inside the barrels, causing greater interaction between the whiskey and the wood, extracting more flavors and color from the finishing barrel. In June of 2019, master distiller and blender Rob Dietrich joined the fold after the passing of Pickerell, overseeing the sourcing, blending, and cask finishing of barrels for each batch.
Originally released on August 12, 1991, The Black Album is the highest selling album of any genre in the last 30 years with over 17 million copies sold in the U.S. and 35 million copies sold worldwide. The Black Album Whiskey Pack pays tribute to this celebrated album from music to cover, with the entire album featured as the finishing playlist, and the packaging and components all inspired by the album cover known the world over.
Blackened didn’t invent the «Snake Bite»… it’s just whiskey and lime juice, but like a classic tune, they riffed on it and made it their own. Then, they dubbed it «The Snakebyte» after James‘s signature ESP Guitar. The Blackened Snakebyte Cocktail Booklet features a curated collection of riffs on the classic whiskey «Snake Bite» drink. Recipes include Donny Clutterbuck‘s signature serve «The Blackened Snakebyte,» Katie Renshaw‘s «The Forked Tongue,» Damian Windsor‘s «Garden of Eden,» and Michael Neff‘s «Snakebyte Jello Shots.» Delicious and easy to make, these recipes are sure to have DIY cocktail enthusiasts singing to the tune of Blackened Whiskey.
«So many things changed for us externally after The Black Album release,» said METALLICA co-founder, vocalist and guitarist James Hetfield. «The perception of the importance of METALLICA changed greatly. Obviously with songs like ‘Sandman’, ‘Unforgiven’, ‘Nothing Else Matters’ becoming embraced by a lot of the world, we became a household name. It changed our lives and hopefully helped the world connect.»
The playlist features all 12 tracks from the album:
Sad But True
Holier Than Thou
Wherever I May Roam
Don’t Tread on Me
Through the Never
Nothing Else Matters
Of Wolf and Man
The God That Failed
My Friend of Misery
The Struggle Within
«The Black Album was one of the first albums that I truly took up as a personal anthem. It is such a badass record and it carried me and my buddies through some intense times during our military deployments in the early ’90s and beyond,» said Dietrich. «Just like the record, The Black Album Whiskey Pack’s Batch 114 has been masterfully crafted and is heavy-hitting and well-balanced, with buttery caramel and oak on first sip, rolling through notes of apricot and almond, followed by an earthy chipotle, walnut, and maple finish. So good! Now it’s time to sip a little whiskey, throw this record on the turntable, and crank it until the windows blow out!»
The Black Album Whiskey Pack is the latest in a series of limited-edition releases from Blackened, including Batch 106 which was sonically enhanced to a playlist from the METALLICA and San Francisco Symphony «S&M2» album and won double gold at the 2020 John Barleycorn awards in the American Blended, Special Barrel Finish category and double gold in the Best Packaging category. Blackened‘s standard expression was also recognized with a gold medal at the prestigious 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.