Metallica’s new batch of Blackened whiskey comes with limited edition picture discs

(Image credit: Blackened Whiskey)

In 2018, Metallica launched their Blackened whiskey, named after the track from the band’s 1988’s …And Justice For All album.

They teamed up with distiller Dave Pickerell for the initial batches of the bourbon and rye blend, with the first – Batch 81 – named after the year the band were formed. Pickerell died in November 2018, with the responsibility of looking after the whiskey falling on the shoulders of master distiller and blender Rob Dietrich last year.

Now, Batch 100 has been announced – and it’ll come in a limited edition package featuring two vinyl picture discs, a Blackened fanzine, a pen, patch and guitar pick. The 12 tracks spread across both discs have been curated by Dietrich and includes live cuts and studio tracks.

Dietrich explains: “I wanted to add live versions to show the connection of the fans to the music, to the band, and to the whiskey. Nothing Else Matters is an acoustic version from the band’s first Helping Hands benefit show that James Hetfield verbally dedicated to Dave Pickerell just days after his passing. 

One is a song we listened to over and over again when I was deployed to Somalia during Operation Restore Hope and Operation Continue Hope. It was one of our anthems, and the energy of the crowd in this live version is incredible.”

I am honoured to have the opportunity to be able to create a whiskey and pour so much of myself personally into the process

Rob Dietrich

Dietrich adds: “I am honoured to have the opportunity to be able to create a whiskey and pour so much of myself personally into the process. Music and distilling are two things I have dedicated my life to, and I do not take for granted how rare it is to be able to blend, literally, these worlds.”

Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich adds: “When I look at Rob’s playlist, I love the selections. I love the variety and I love that he’s gone for two deeper live tracks from the Damaged Justice tour.

“I love seeing both the Binge & Purge and Through The Never eras represented. And he even tapped the Helping Hands album, so it’s clear he is not a part-timer!” 

Something unique about Blackened whiskey is that Metallica’s music is played while the whiskey matures in the barrel. The low hertz vibrations of the music “pummel the black brandy casks during the finishing process, agitating the whiskey and extracting more flavour from the wood.”

Each batch of Blackened has a unique playlist curated by the band members themselves, with Batch 100 the first time someone other than Ulrich, Hetfield, Kirk Hammett of Robert Trujillo has had a say in the music.

The Blackened fanzine features input from both Ulrich and Dietrich who talk about the creation of the whiskey, while the photographs were taken by Danny Clinch, showing behind-the-scenes glimpses of Metallica’s HQ and rehearsal space.

To mark the news, Ulrich has posted an unboxing video on the official Blackened Instagram page. Check it out below.

Blackened whiskey is only available to purchase in the US, with a list of retailers available through the official website.

@larsulrich has his and you can get yours at the link in bio. Supplies are limited. 🔥 BLACKENED™

A photo posted by @blackenedamericanwhiskey on May 18, 2020 at 7:01am PDT

(Image credit: Blackened Whiskey)
Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.