Metallica kicked off 2019 with Enter Night Pilsner, a collab with Stone Brewing. As National Bourbon Day rapidly approaches (June 14th) it was time for the legendary whisky bar, Delilah’s to revisit the precursor to that launch by celebrating Blackened. A late 2018 blended whisky finished in black brandy casks and blasted with its own Metallica playlist.
This BlackNoise ‘sonic enhancement process’ all feels cute and gimmicky until you realize Metallica has their own proprietary subwoofer developed to amplify low frequency. The notion is that the playlist soundwaves would create a richer finishing process between the spirit and the wood cask. Master Distiller Dave Pickerell spent time at Maker’s Mark and Whistle Pig before he passed away last October.
To uphold the legacy of quality created by Dave, Stranahan’s, Rob Dietrich from the Rocky Mountains was enlisted to lead the journey. For 12 years his specialty was unique blended whisky expressions. Before that music was his first love. On the mic at Delilah’s he recalled hearing Metallica’s Master Of Puppets in the seventh grade back home Southern Colorado.
After 10 years on the Denver Punk Scene managing festivals, bands, events and producing music met Metallica in 1996, the year they cut their hair. This project is beyond special for him to bring these elements together and have an absolute ball touring to promote a world-class product worthy of space in your collection.
Not many events reserve tables six at time for an upstairs tasting experience with fucking blindfolds..but this was that. Instead of wine and cheese, the pair was music + whisky.
Deconstructed aroma sticks of apricot, French oak, grass, cinnamon, baking spices and red hots candy are passed while wearing masks. The earth shattering sound of Metallica blared through the headphones to accompany whisky sample one.…take a sip, discuss… whisky heat, vanilla, oak dominate the taste.
The other glass was paired with your favorite Mozart song. Notes of melon, apricot and molasses are more prominent with classical music in your ears, the shit is bizarre.
Places like Scotland focus on master blending. Taking the best of a region to create “A taste of Scotland” is the desired affect. For Blackened, Tennessee Whisky, Kentucky Bourbon, Kentucky Rye, Indiana Bourbon, Indiana Rye Whisky and Canadian Rye. All different mash bills, all aged in different places, all different flavors were blended.
Metallica was happy to nerd out on the sonic enhancement finish. Every batch of whiskey has different time signatures. All 19 batches will have their own setlist that you can go on Spotify to match to your bottle purchase.
Temperature controlled barrel aging rooms in modern American distilleries are less about age, no focus on warm days and cool nights.
Soundwaves from song to song create a different ripple in spirit maturation. Those cinnamon, and dry oaky notes, the caramelized wood sugars can be extracted via audio vibration frequencies. The traditional ‘squeeze’ of the barrel will always be weather dependent, but I’m also here for these creative methods of using sound to interact with wood.
-Sweet Amber Distilling produced Blackened.
-Metallica live concert footage was played on TVs for the event
-The Slide Ride was the food truck partner
-Delilah’s has been opened every day since 1993 and was named Icon’s of Whisky 2019 Bar of the Year