Today, award-winning BLACKENED American Whiskey® announces its latest limited edition, BLACKENED Kentucky Straight Rye Double Cask Finished Whiskey dubbed RYE THE LIGHTNING™, a play on words inspired by Metallica’s 6x platinum sophomore album, Ride the Lightning.
This expression is double finished in Madeira and rum casks and undergoes the proprietary BLACK NOISE™ sonic-enhancement process.RYE THE LIGHTNING is crafted from Kentucky straight rye whiskeys aged between 5-8 years and hand-selected by BLACKENED Master Distiller & Blender, Rob Dietrich.
The whiskeys are then vatted and transferred for finishing in Madeira wine and Caribbean rum casks for 2-14 weeks each.
The double cask finishing results in notes of dried fig, hay, pinewood, pear, and rum cake on the nose, and on the palate, clover honey, mint, corn husk, sugar cane, walnut, and cinnamon.
It is during the rum cask finishing that the proprietary BLACK NOISE sonic-enhancement process is applied.
The barrels are pummeled by the low hertz frequencies of Metallica’s music, and the sound waves visibly shake the finishing barrels, causing greater interaction between the whiskey and the wood, thereby extracting more flavors and colors.
The name for this release is aptly dubbed RYE THE LIGHTNING because the playlist used for the BLACK NOISE sonic-enhancement process is Ride the Lightning.
But Rob Dietrich and Metallica didn’t want to just use the original version — they wanted to amp it up a notch.
They chose a playlist consisting solely of the Ride The Lightning portion of Metallica’s June 2012 Orion Music + More festival setlist — the only time the band has ever played the album live in its entirety, albeit in reverse track order from the original album.
The vibe from the crowd at the first Orion Music + More Festival was electrifying,” said bassist Rob Trujillo, “And it’s really cool that we get to capture that energy in this release.
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.
Fans interested in hearing this rare performance of Ride the Lightning from back to front can now enjoy a newly remixed version exclusively through BLACKENED.
A copy can be downloaded by scanning a QR code found at retail, following @blackenedamericanwhiskey on socials, or visiting blackenedwhiskey.com for more information.
The 10-track BLACK NOISE playlist includes:
Ride The Lightning Intro
The Call of Ktulu
Escape (Live Debut)
Trapped Under Ice
Fade to Black
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Ride The Lightning
Fight Fire with Fire
Established in 2018, Sweet Amber Distilling Co. is a producer of hand-crafted spirits. Helmed by spirits industry veteran John Bilello, Sweet Amber launched with the creation of BLACKENED® – a masterful collaboration between late whiskey luminary Dave Pickerell and rock icons Metallica, which is now available in more than 36 states and expanding rapidly.
Sweet Amber is a nimble, dynamic organization that is completely virtual, allowing greater flexibility, efficiency, and geographic coverage across the U.S. with depth of experience in the spirits and music industries.
ABOUT ROB DIETRICH
Rob Dietrich is the Master Distiller & Blender of BLACKENED® American Whiskey and the former Master Distiller for Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey.
Rob has more than 13 years in the industry and is well-regarded for his unique limited-release, cask finish expressions such as Snowflake, Sherry Cask, and more. Rob is responsible for every aspect of production and is committed to maintaining the original recipe, artisanal methods, and hand-crafted approach to creating world-class whiskey.
Rob Dietrich initially learned the art and science of distilling from legendary distiller Jess Graber whom he proudly calls his mentor.
His passion for music was honed across 10 years spent in the music business with Bill Graham Presents as a freelance agent for a variety of venues like Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre and The Fillmore in San Francisco, as well as managing tours and festivals.
He is a veteran of the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division and served from 1992 to 1995. His two tours in Somalia and relief operations in Haiti helped shape his life-affirming philosophy.
Formed in 1981 by drummer Lars Ulrich and guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield, Metallica has become one of the most influential and successful rock bands in history, having sold nearly 120 million albums worldwide and generating more than 15 billion streams while playing to millions of fans on all seven continents.
The band’s several multi-platinum studio albums include Kill ‘Em All, Ride The Lightning, Master of Puppets, … And Justice for All, Metallica (commonly referred to as The Black Album), Load, Re-Load, St. Anger, Death Magnetic, and most recently Hardwired…to Self-Destruct, released in November 2016 and charting at #1 in 32 countries.
Metallica’s awards and accolades include nine Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, multiple MTV Video Music Awards, and a 2009 induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In June of 2018, the band was awarded one of the most prestigious musical honors in the world: Sweden’s Polar Music Prize.
For 40 years and counting, Metallica has forged an unwavering bond of mutual loyalty with its legions of fans, as represented by the more than one million strong Fifth Member fan club. During the Covid-19 pandemic, this connection has only been reinforced: The band offered up six months’ worth of free weekly “Metallica Mondays” concerts from its archives on YouTube, released the S&M2 album and film in August of 2020, and followed S&M2 a day later with the showing of a full concert shot exclusively for the Encore Drive-In Nights series, a one-night-only event that took place at hundreds of drive-in and outdoor theaters across North America.
Metallica’s second Helping Hands Concert & Auction — and its first-ever PPV event — was live-streamed November 14, 2020, raising more than $1.3 million benefitting the band’s All Within My Hands Foundation—funds used to work with partners at Feeding America and the American Association of Community Colleges, as well as various COVID and disaster relief efforts.
All Within My Hands was established in 2017 as a way for the Metallica family to give back to communities that have supported the band. All Within My Hands expenses are covered entirely by the band, the board, and friends who have worked with the band over many years, ensuring that 100% of proceeds go directly to help those in need.
To date, All Within My Hands has donated over $4 million to critical local services and the fight against food insecurity, working with partners around the world to feed more than 10 million people. In addition, their Metallica Scholars Initiative has pledged a total of $4.1 million in grants benefiting 23 community colleges across the USA.