Review: Two Stacks Is Putting Irish Whiskey in a Can. Is It Any Good?
A miniaturized new take on an old bonding tradition
What we’re drinking: Two Stacks Irish Whiskey, both in a can (more on that in a minute) and at cask strength in a bottle.
Where it’s from: All over Ireland. Two Stacks is reviving an old country tradition where merchants, grocers and bonders would independently blend and bottle whiskey. The brand also marks the debut of a whiskey from Ireland Craft Beverages, an Irish drinks importer/distributor.
Why we’re drinking this: For obvious reasons: Irish Whiskey Day was March 3 and St. Patrick’s Day arrives March 17. As well, it’s the first “dram in a can,” which provides a unique vessel. “Obviously, the can idea is for convenience and compactness,” explains co-founder Donal McLynn. “You can take it on hikes or even to festivals. Plus, it’s a step away from the snobbiness of the whiskey industry.”
Two Stacks (the can) is a blend of grain, malt and pot still whiskey and is bottled, um, canned, at 43% ABV. The liquid, of which nothing is over five years in age, is matured in virgin oak, ex-bourbon and former Oloroso sherry casks.
How it tastes: Most important note first: the can doesn’t seem to impact the flavor one way or the other. We tested Two Stacks from the 100ml tin can and also poured it into a Glencairn tasting glass and found no difference.
The core Two Stacks release nicely showcases all the elements of the blend: Some sweetness from the sherry casks, the body from the malt and the spice of the peated malt (which only represents 2% of the final blend). There’s a slight salinity here, some spice and oak, a bit of vanilla and some white pepper. It’s incredibly balanced.
The Cask Strength release amplifies everything: sweetness, malted biscuit notes, spice (it definitely dries the palate quickly), caramel, fruit, etc. At 65%, it’s also the strongest Irish whiskey we’ve ever tried, but still calms down nicely with even just a drop or two of water.
Fun fact: There are some limited editions of Two Stacks Cask Strength with unique cask finishes (rum, apricot brandy, Sauternes, tawny port) available now. See below for ordering details.
Where to buy it: A four-pack of 100ml cans is starting to make its way here this month; this retailer list from High Road Spirits can help you find the cans. Bottles of Two Stacks can be found at The Whisky Exchange.
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