Metallica’s liquor brand, Blackened American Whiskey, announced on Wednesday (April 27) a new product in its lineup with the limited edition “Rye the Lightning” Kentucky straight rye double cask-finished whiskey.
And, believe it or not, the alcoholic beverage grew up “listening” to Ride the Lightning, the influential heavy metal band’s classic 1984 album — though not quite like a human listener.
Allow us to explain. Blackened rye whiskey undergoes the same proprietary “Black Noise” casking process as Blackened’s flagship straight blended whiskey, introduced in 2018, where the whiskey barrels get blasted with low frequencies from Metallica’s music. According to the brand, the sound waves visibly shake the finishing barrels, causing more flavors to be extracted from the vibrating wood.
The “Rye the Lightning” whiskey uses Madeira wine and Caribbean rum casks for the procedure, compared to the blended whiskey’s brandy casks. Plus, the process for the rye only uses Ride the Lightning songs, specifically the live versions from Metallica’s 2012 Orion Music + More Festival performance.
Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo explains, “The vibe from the crowd at the first Orion … was electrifying. And it’s really cool that we get to capture that energy in this release.”
He adds, “We’ve used a few live songs in our playlists before, but never a full live playlist. So to be able to incorporate our fans in the Blackened journey and have them be a part of the whiskey-making process is really unique, and makes this a true collaboration.”
Metallica’s inaugural Orion set was the only time the band has performed Ride the Lightning in its entirety, albeit with the songs performed in reverse order from the album.
Blackened has used the same album-specific approach to alcohol before, namely with its “Black Album”-enhanced batch of liquor from last year.
“Rye the Lightning” over at blackenedwhiskey.com.