Black Button Distilling, the first grain-to-glass craft spirits producer in Rochester, N.Y., since prohibition, in partnership with the world-renowned Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, announces the release of a limited sonic-aged bourbon.

The Black Button Distilling and RPO Sonic Aged Bourbon was unveiled at the RPO’s concert on Wednesday, Feb 15th, at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theater in Rochester, NY. The evening was co-hosted by Music Director Andreas Delfs and Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik, the orchestra’s artistic leaders. Together they revealed September 2023 – June 2024’s exciting concerts to an enthusiastic full house, with excerpts performed by the world-class orchestra. Audience members were invited to join a post-concert cocktail hour featuring selected Black Button Distilling products and to toast the upcoming season with Maestros Delfs and Tyzik.

“Composing and performing a great piece of music is not unlike producing and carefully aging a great bourbon. Both take time, both take great care and practice, and both produce something worthy of a standing ovation. The distilling decided to meld both great arts through an experimental process known as sonic aging,” said Jason Barrett, Black Button Distilling Founder & Master Distiller.

As portrayed in a short video screened at the unveiling, sonic aging involves playing music directly to the aging barrel, where the pulsating sound waves agitate the bourbon, making it more vibrant and flavorful. The distilling worked with the RPO to find a performance featuring accents of brass and percussion and great highs to give the proper vibrations to the barrel. The agitator chosen was the RPO’s performance of Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, a recording made at its benefit Concert for Ukraine in Kodak Hall on March 12, 2022. A speaker was strapped to the head of the barrel and played the piece consistently for six straight months.

“While other distillers have chosen music from Metallica and Pearl Jam, Black Button Distilling specifically partnered with the RPO to bring a more refined and complex character to our bourbon,” said Barrett. “We are excited for the local community to taste, listen, and experience the collaboration of our two great Rochester institutions. Cheers!”

Black Button Distilling and RPO Sonic Aged Bourbon Tasting Notes: On the nose, bold oak notes, rich dried apricot, and an undertone of vanilla and clove. The palate imparts a medium body with a burst of raisin turning to dark chocolate. A dry and woody note returns at the finish, followed by a lingering sweetness and warmth.

This special limited release is available only for purchase at Black Button Distilling (85 Railroad Street, Rochester). There are only 100 bottles available.

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