Thanks to my wife for buying me a can… I think.
It’s whiskey in a can, I can’t wax philosophical about it. I started writing and then looked back at the empty can and… well, it’s whiskey in a can!
Okay, I got that out of my system, let’s move on.
Two Stacks is not, from what I’ve been able to read from their website, a distillery, but rather a whiskey bonder and blender. When you hear about blenders, your mind may go to Scotland, because their blenders are still in business. That’s because they didn’t get rat fucked like Ireland did.
So with the growing Irish whiskey world, it’s wonderful and exciting to hear that additional bonders and blenders are popping up. That’s what Two Stacks is.
Since I’m in Canada, where whiskey only comes when it’s that or throwing it in the trash, I haven’t had many chances to try Two Stacks offerings. My wife saw Two Stacks Dram in a Can, giggled, realised she had money in which to buy silly things, and bought it.
What is it? Well it’s a blended whiskey. It’s actually pretty clear what’s in there, similar to what Compass Box does, though they don’t go as far as to point out which distillery is making each ingredient. Which I’d love to know, but I’m assuming with few Irish distilleries and the pushback from distilleries to not do that probably has stopped that level of clarity from coming to fruition.
And it’s in a can. So I poured this, not knowing the Blender/Bonder, not knowing what to think of a can of whiskey, but still knowing what went into it. So let’s see, shall we?
Price: $19 for four 100ml cans.
Bottled… er, Canned: 2021
- 40% “light grain” whiskey aged in bourbon casks
- 40% “dark grain” whiskey aged in newly charred virgin oak
- 8% pot still malt whiskey aged in Oloroso sherry butts
- 10% double distilled malt whiskey aged in bourbon casks
- 2% peated malt whiskey aged in bourbon casks
Colour: 5Y 8/6
Nose: Earth, apple, mint, vanilla
Huh. This doesn’t smell bad. I… Well, okay, let’s rejig our thoughts and forget that this is called Dram in a Can for a second.
Alright, I’m a dork for judging this by the can, as it were. It’s nothing crazy, but there’s some earth, some fruit, and some vanilla. I’m missing some of that typical yeast notes that you get from Irish whiskey, and I’m actually a tad sad it’s not here, but again, books, covers, judging ahead of time, being a dork, etc.
Nice balance. It’s lighter, but not off-putting. Earth like a young grain whiskey too, but nothing too off-putting.
Taste: Apple, creamy, char, mint
Fruity, creamy, simple and a bit bitter, though nothing too overwhelming, even for a bitter-phobe like myself. Again, missing some of the yeast I associate with Irish whiskey, but that’s not a deal breaker. It’s nice enough to sip on, though a tad watery. It’s fine.
Tastes more of young grain, but nothing too rough that usually accompanies young grain whiskey.
Finish: Char, bitter leafy flavour, vanilla
Yikes, okay, bitter phobic behaviour starts now then. If the previous elements were balanced, if simple, then the finish screams young grain whiskey. Rough to taste, with a finish of vanilla. This needs some of the fruit or cream from before.
Conclusion: Lots of grain, misses some of the yeast notes I like in Irish whiskey. That said, this was much better than it has any right to be. Lovely vanilla backbone. Maybe add more peat in the future and this could easily be a simple, cheap whiskey to have on hand.
Or maybe less single grain? But at the end of the day you’ve made a blend, in a can, with a bag of scraps! No, wait, that was Tony Stark.
Let’s be honest: It’s an inexpensive whiskey in a can. It’s not bad to drink. It’s not going to blow your mind, and if I had to make bets I’m guessing it’s losing money. So you should try this. Any Irish whiskey fan should try this and be interested in what Two Stacks is doing, because this is way more drinkable than it has any right to be.
World Whiskey review #439, Ireland review #121, Whiskey Network review #2308