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Blended Whiskey

Whiskey Galore: Two Stacks taking a blended approach

EVERYBODY wants to be a distiller… well, almost everybody. Not Two Stacks. The Newry outfit have revived the previously widespread tradition of bottling and blending whiskeys.

Having grown out of the importer/distributor Ireland Craft Beverages, co-founders Shane McCarthy, Donal McLynn and Liam Brogan launched their ‘own’ whiskey range, maturing the spirit (mostly from the nearby Great Northern Distillery, but also from the nearby Killowen Distillery in the Mournes) in select casks. Two Stacks has recently won new export contracts to the USA, Sweden and Gulf states.

The art is old school, with the timing of bottling depending on the makers’ ‘nosing’ and tasting, while they even manually remove the whiskey from the casks and hand-label each bottle.

Their portfolio now includes The First Cut, cask strength The Blender’s Cut (including variants from Barbados Rum, Sauternes and Tawny Port casks), the Polaris Collection 9-year-old single malts, and offerings from apricot brandy, peated stout, and imperial stout coffee casks. Demand has already outstripped supply with many of those, unfortunately.

Alongside bringing back an element of Irish whiskey heritage, Two Stacks are also innovators, notably with their ‘Dram in a Can’.

Traditionalists may cry ‘Heresy’ but think again after you’ve dropped and smashed a prized bottle.

The 100ml cans are produced in a 6,000sq ft premises on the outskirts of Newry. Currently Two Stacks offer two options, both 43 per cent ABV.



For those who worry about what they’re getting from blending, fear not; the cans may not be transparent but Two Stacks are, offering full details of the make-up of each whiskey, whatever the container.

Their canned whiskey is 40% dark grain from virgin oak casks, 40% light grain, 10% double malt, and 2% peated malt, all from bourbon casks, with 8% pot still from oloroso sherry casks. Their single malt – double barrel comprises 50% triple malt from oloroso sherry casks, 40% double malt and 10% peated malt, both out of bourbon casks.

The blend of old and new, of limited premium whiskeys and the still high quality larger-scale canned versions, should see Two Stacks go from strength to strength.


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