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For the past two years, Metallica have been producing their own “Blackened” whiskey. However, following James Hetfield‘s return to rehab in 2019, some wonder if the band should continue making the whiskey.

Now, Kirk Hammett is speaking out on the band’s decision to continue the liquor line.

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Back in 2019, Metallica canceled their tour plans so Hetfield could take care of himself in rehab. In the statement, the band revealed that Hetfield “has been struggling with addiction on and off for many years.” Eventually, he decided to re-enter a treatment program to further work on his recovery.

Following the completion of his treatment earlier this year, Metallica carried on and continued making their “Blackened” whiskey. However, some fans still wonder if the band should continue their liquor line given Hetfield’s recent struggles.

Now, Hammett is speaking out on why Metallica are continuing to make their whiskey. In an interview with the Daily Star, Hammett says that the two really can’t be compared.

“You can’t compare the two things,” he says. “James’ struggle to get dry is a completely personal matter mentally and emotionally. The fact that we produce, bottle and sell alcohol is totally independent of this. It is completely up to you whether you drink or not. And I think I can sell what I want. If I were a diabetic, that wouldn’t mean that I couldn’t sell sweets.”

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Metallica announced their “Blackened” whiskey back in 2018. The liquor is in collaboration with distiller Dave Pickerell. Most recently, they launched a limited edition whiskey and vinyl box set back in May.

In February, Hetfield made his first public appearance since leaving rehab. He played his first set at a tribute night for late musician Eddie Money. Shortly following this, Metallica canceled their appearances at Sonic Temple and Louder Than Life to further support Hetfield’s recovery.

Do you agree with Kirk Hammett on why Metallica still make whiskey? Let us know in the comments below.