Two Stacks “The First Cut” Tasting Notes

November 5, 2021

Two Stacks “The First Cut” Complex Blend

Two Stacks Irish Whiskey

Blended Irish Whiskey 



Tasting note compiled by Mark McLaughlin (@mark_whiskey)



Two Stacks Irish Whiskey is independent bottler housed in he much-loved Killowen Distillery, Co. Down. Valuing transparency, they’ve taken the unique approach of displaying the precise breakdown of the makeup of their whiskeys on the labels themselves. With each component for this release coming from the Great Northern Distillery, Co. Louth, the breakdown is as follows:

  • 40% Dark Grain – Virgin Oak cask matured
  • 40% Light Grain – Bourbon cask matured
  • 8% Pot Still – Oloroso sherry butt matured
  • 10% Double-distilled Malt – Bourbon cask matured
  • 2% Peated Malt – Bourbon cask matured

So we can see that there’s 80% grain whiskey in the blend with 3 separate pot distilled distillates making up the other 20%, with three different cask varieties used, bourbon, virgin oak (we can assume this is virgin American oak) and a small inclusion of sherry butts. This was the first core expression released by Two Stacks Irish Whiskey.



Pale gold.


Nose (Aromas)

Initially quite youthful with a spirituous edge but making way for the sweeter, delicate grain notes to come through. The sweet notes could be described like honeycomb crushed over vanilla ice-cream. There’s a touch of smoke evident but barely more than a bale of dry hay starting to catch fire. I wouldn’t describe it as peat smoke. Malt notes are there but they turn to over-boiled potatoes which signifies the youth.


Palate & Finish 

Great texture. The distillates carry weight even at the relatively low 43%, well placed A.B.V here. There’s smoke which I’d describe as sooty which falls away to buttered almonds and vanilla pod. A touch of citrus and candied pears gives an added layer to the palate while the finish could be described as lemon tart with a base made from crushed brazil nuts and a light hint of charred wood.



It’s clearly a youthful spirit but there’s plenty to get your head around, the Virgin oak element carries the whiskey away from being bland. I can’t find the sherry in there but I didn’t miss it either. I’d happily true it again in my local whiskey bar.


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