The team at Two Stacks has been hard at work developing a dynamic line that brings their whiskey to the front of the rapidly growing market.
With the evolving face to the whiskey market Irish Whiskey brands have to work harder than ever to stand out. In spite of this added challenge, Two Stacks has rocketed onto the market and captured the attention of a growing audience.
The brand currently has 6 expressions: The First Cut – Complex Blend, The Blender’s Cut – Cask Strength, and Smoke & Mirrors. They also carry four cask finishes made from The Blender’s Cut: Sauternes Cask Finish, Tawny Port Cask Finish, Barbados Rum Cask Finish, and Apricot Brandy Cask Finish. To help bring their line to the fast-growing RTD consumer, they’re launching a Two Stacks – Dram in a Can, the world’s first 43% whiskey canned spirit. To learn more about the brand and to get their insight into the changing market, we caught up with Co-Founder Shane McCarthy.
Can you share your thoughts on the way the Irish Whiskey Market has grown and evolved over the last few years and where do you see the market heading?
The Irish Whiskey market continues to see strong growth even after a difficult 2020 trading environment, and we see this continuing into the near-term.
Natural growth cycle economics will take effect, allowing for new distillery consolidations and takeovers from foreign and local entities. We will see more competition from the world whiskies starting to compete in their local market for a share of the whiskey market, countries such as England, France, Australia already have a strong local whiskey markets which are continuing to grow without the technical file restrictions that Irish distilleries need to adhere to.
What has Two Stacks done to stand out in a highly competitive market?
Two Stacks has been a natural evolution from Ireland Craft Beverages Ltd, a company set-up to support small Independent Irish suppliers showcase their products and craft across the world. Two Stacks Independent bottlings blend the best of contemporary Irish whiskey flavors with true distilling heritage, taking a step into the forefront of Ireland’s whiskey revival. All Two Stacks releases will be a hand-crafted expression carefully sourced from the Irish distilleries we have been working with over the past 6 years from various locations across Ireland.
Can you tell us a little about the process of creating your BEAUTIFUL labels?
The branding was a chance for us to put a fresh look on the face of new Irish Whiskies, taking a step away from the traditional labels in the industry, and visually complementing the whiskey inside each one of the Two Stacks products. Each label is a blank canvas, allowing us to express the flavor through contemporary and artistic expressions, reinforcing those whiskey flavors through a unique visual identity. We want to be distinctive yet simplistic and timeless where people will automatically know and say ‘That’s a Two Stacks bottle’
Does your physical location affect the product you produce – we want to know about any local ingredients you use and how it affects your end result – think the grain, barrels, water and etc.
There have been both Scientific and theoretical responses to similar questions over the years. We believe both the provenance and core ingredients give the most impactful result to the flavor profile of our whiskey. As independent bottlers, we do not run the distillation process, albeit we have a part to play in the types/styles and distilleries we work closely with on the bonding & bottling.
Finding a reliable source of good quality casks in which to mature and finish our expressions is important to us and the one part of the process we have direct control over – we have also seen a strain in the industry lately, with many of the smaller distilleries scrambling after top quality finishing casks.
What do you want bartenders to know about selling or (potentially) mixing with your whiskey?
Two Stacks Core products give bartenders a robust base to work with on any premium cocktail menu, from our 5-part complex blend when making classic cocktails, to the highest ABV currently on the market at 65.15%. We also have a new 2021 release that sees us move into The Single Malt category, combining some of our Irish Brewery Casks to finish off ‘Smoke& Mirrors and align the brewing relationships we have built up over many years in working with them through Ireland Craft Beverages.
We’re confident there is something for everyone in the Two Stacks range. We also encourage consumers to enjoy near, with a drop of water or on the rocks, especially the cask strength finishes, it is their whiskey and their experience to do as they please, we can only focus on giving them what we hope is a whiskey we love drinking ourselves.
For more coverage on the evolving Irish Whiskey market, check out our special section in our February/March 2021 issue.