Metallica’s Blackened American Whiskey with Master Blender Rob Dietrich
This week, Rob Dietrich joins Pedro to talk about his new job as Master Blender of Metallica’s American whiskey, Blackened. Rob took over the position after the original Master Blender, Dave Pickerell, was taken from this Earth far too soon; but no more tears! This is literally the most Rock that whiskey has ever experienced! Every cask is “sonically-enhanced” with a special playlist of Metallica’s music put together by the individual band members (which you can hear below.) Be sure to listen to this one loud!
What we drank:
Blackened American Whiskey
Check out the playlist that the band used to sonically-enhance the whiskey!
Jun 26, 2019
We’re excited to announce the next step in our journey with Blackened American Whiskey as we welcome Rob Dietrich to the family as our new Master Distiller. A veteran in the spirits and music industry, Rob’s passion and experience make him the perfect person to oversee the sourcing, blending, and cask finishing of barrels for each batch of Blackened.
Rob initially learned the art and science of distilling from expert distiller, Jess Graber. He earned his distilling stripes throughout more than 12 years in the industry and whiskey lovers took notice of his limited-release, cask finish expressions such as Snowflake, Sherry Cask, and more. In addition to an extensive distilling background, Rob spent a decade in the music business honing his passion 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 combat tours in Somalia and relief operations in Haiti helped shape his life-affirming philosophy.
Rob will continue to build upon the foundation set forth by his predecessor Dave Pickerell, who we sadly lost last fall. Known as the world’s preeminent distiller, Dave brought his vision and creativity to Blackened to offer a premier whiskey enhanced by our music. Rob will continue to honor his spirit while bringing his own talents and skills to the role, working closely with us to keep Dave’s legacy alive.
Dave will forever be a member of our family and we miss him tremendously. As we have gotten to know Rob more closely, his values, knowledge, and love for what he does are also apparent, and he shares great respect for craftsmanship that we have for Blackened and our music. We’re thrilled that he’s joined the party!
From Blackened’s Website: blackenedwhiskey.com
A COLLABORATION OF BOURBONS, RYES & WHISKEYS
BLACKENED is a marriage of the finest bourbons, ryes & whiskeys, hand selected by Dave himself. Each of the whiskeys offer unique flavor that play a key role in the final spirit. Predominately bourbon, the sweetness of BLACKENED pairs perfectly with the savory spice offered by the high rye composition of 46%.
Dave is renown for his whiskey finishes—an aspect he calls “flavoring for adults”. By resting the whiskey in the barrel of another spirit during the maturation phase, the whiskey picks up some of the unique, residual flavors left behind in the barrel. For BLACKENED, Dave chose to finish the whiskey in black brandy casks. The result is an added apricot note that plays perfectly alongside the honey and caramel tones of the pre-finished spirit.
After the whiskeys have been combined in the black brandy casks for finishing, they’re jolted back to life by the unmistakable, earth-shattering music of Metallica. Using our proprietary sonic-enhancement system BLACK NOISE™, the whiskey is pummeled by sound, causing it to seep deeper into the barrel, where it picks up additional wood flavor characteristics.
The process the whiskey undergoes is intense; the flavor is anything but. The spirit has a warm, honey-amber color. Burnt caramel, oak and honey are present on the nose, with moderate hints of spice upon first taste. The flavor builds with notes of honey, cinnamon, allspice, clove and mint, with unexpected apricot lingering underneath. Expect a long and smooth finish with slightly creamy hints of butterscotch taffy, maple and honey.
FORGED BY SOUND
Each batch of BLACKENED has a unique playlist that was used to sonically-enhance the whiskey during finishing. As the well-aged whiskey rests in the finishing barrels, the music is played to the barrel causing the whiskey inside to move and interact with the wood. The movement of the whiskey and the amount of interaction depends on the song being played, so the variation of the music creates a slight nuance from one batch to the next. Throughout this process, Dave tests the whiskey to determine the optimal color and flavor profile for each batch.