As the American whiskey market grows increasingly competitive, distillers have been left with no choice but to distinguish themselves in order to stand apart from the crowd. Typically, this means an experimental finish or some kind of humanitarian initiative. BLACKENED, however, decided to look to its peers and kick off a collaborative ‘Masters of Whiskey Series.’
In practice, this means that Master Distiller Rob Dietrich has worked with Willett Distillery’s Drew Kulsveen to source a mix of low- and high-rye whiskeys from the latter’s Family Estate Reserve Selection. Aged in American oak for an average of 6.5 years, the resulting blend was then transferred to Portuguese Madeira casks for 14 weeks in order to impart some subtle fruity flavors. As if that wasn’t enough, though, BLACKENED also matured the whiskey with an 11-track Metallica playlist, hitting the barrels with low hertz frequencies to extract more character from the wood. What results is undeniably one of the most interesting, collaborative releases in whiskey: a cask strength expression that starts off sweet and sugary before finishing with vanilla, cinnamon, and dark walnut. Available now for $140, you can locate the Blackened x Willett Kentucky Straight Rye for yourself at the link below.