Two Stacks was founded in 2020 by Shane McCarthy, Liam Brogan, and Donal McLynn who have many years of expereince in the beverage industry globally. As a brand, Two Stacks is probably most famous for their Dram in a Can, and they pride themselves on being independent bottlers and bonders. Two Stacks source their whiskey from a number of distilleries in Ireland and take great pride in transparency. In 2022 they opened their own bonding, blending, and bottling facility and if their first couple of years are anything to go by the future is bright at Two Stacks.
In that spirit of transparency, we know that their Blenders Cut - Cask Strength is made up of the following components across Grain, Malted, and Pot Still whiskeys;
40% Dark Grain Irish whiskey aged in Virgin Oak Casks
40% Light Grain Irish whiskey aged in Bourbon Casks
10% Double Distilled Malt Irish whiskey aged in Bourbon Casks
8% Pot Still Irish whiskey aged in Oloroso Sherry Butts
2% Peated Malt Irish whiskey aged in Bourbon Casks
The Two Stacks Blenders Cut - Cask Strength sells at retail for around $70 for a 750ml bottle and has an abv of 65%/130 proof
Appearance: The whiskey shows a bright and clear amber color and the very evident "legs" hint at the cask strength abv to follow.
Nose: Given the relatively high alcohol of this whiskey it was tasted using the "two glass method" where the whiskey is poured between two tasting glasses and the "empty" glass is used to nose some of the aromas. There is an initial deep intensity on the nose of oiliness (an unctuous character) that's followed by a wallop of spice and a dry leathery character. The alcohol is very evident on the nose so be careful as you nose this whiskey! Behind the initial oil/spice/leather characters, there's orange blossom and Meyer lemon in evidence, and it's all wrapped by a creamy vanilla ice cream - think Soft Serve or a "99" in Ireland. The "empty" glass shows off the peated component well and it feels like a nicely integrated kiss of burning campfire smoke character.
A few drops of distilled water accentuate the citrus characters making them almost gelato-like in character, and still the oil/spice/leather characters are there. The peated smokey character is more evident with the few drops and is very nicely integrated in with the other aromas.
Palate: Warm alcohol and smoke coat the palate, unsurprisingly. The peated component is immediately evident in the mouth and is the predominant flavor as the whiskey warms in the palate, and this whiskey fills the mouth! The citrus characters are evident along with a chewy toffee sweetness that is also joined by a cereal character that is almost muesli-like with a long vanilla enrobed finish.
With a few drops of distilled water added the peated smoke character is still up front but the toffee character seems to come to the fore while the orange and lemon citrus, and cereal characters, take a back seat.
Conclusion: This is a fascinating whiskey bottled at Cask Strength that allows the drinker to decide which abv they'll drink it at. It's a layered and relatively complex whiskey that has a long, lingering, warm, and balanced finish. It is the sort of whiskey that should be sipped slowly on a winters evening while enjoying great company or a great book.