Blackened Whiskey has given the traditional spirits a twist.
Heavy-metal band Metallica worked with engineers at Meyer Sound to develop a sonic enhancement system that delivers low hertz sound waves into the Blackened oak casks, causing the whiskey to interact with the charred oak staves. That releases flavors such as toasted coconut, vanilla, butterscotch and caramel.
The Blackened campaign was kicked off with a national spot on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" during Metallica’s residency on the show. Ads are now airing on terrestrial radio rock and sports talk stations, Spotify, targeted YouTube, as well as a presence on Whiskey Advocate and Cigar Afficionado.
Philadelphia-based agency WeHolden created the spot. The tagline is “Whiskey remastered.”
The premium whiskey, from the late master distiller Dave Pickerell, is a blend of aged North American bourbon and rye whiskeys, finished in black brandy casks. It is augmented by a specific Metallica playlist to enhance the 90-proof whiskey. The result is a smooth finish with notes of butterscotch taffy, maple and honey.
“We play Metallica's music at a very low frequency, so low you can’t hear it with the human ear. You just hear this vibrating hum. The barrels vibrate at such a vigorous pace, the whiskey is moving in and out of the wood and picking up all these flavors," Blackened's master distiller-blender Rob Dietrich told Agency Daily. Dietrich now overseas all sourcing and blending to match the taste of Pickerell’s original recipe.
Sweet Amber Distilling Company makes Blackened American whiskey in Miniville, New York. It is named after one of the legendary band's songs. Plus, Metallica curates playlists to see how each changes the flavor profile of the whiskey.
Saluk & Co. is the brand's media agency of record.
WeHolden's client work includes Proper No. Twelve, Nixta Licor de Elote, Elouan and Boen.