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Two Brewers Release 23 Special Finishes

46% ABV - Yukon Territory, Canada

Nose: Rich, fruit jams atop banana bread with citrus and floral notes.

Taste: Wine–soaked fruits, orange citrus, mild smoke, with over-roasted malt and coffee beans.

Finish: Faint smoke with caramelized light fruits, vanilla, oak, and spices.

This was one of the few bottles that made my shortlist for the annual whisky release put on by the government liquor stores in my area. I camped out early (2’o’clock in the morning early) to make sure that I had a fighting chance at it! Though turns out, I could have slept in really late and still managed to snag one… live and learn, but I’d do it again.

I’ve been following and tasting Two Brewers since around Release 5, and I have only missed a handful in between that release and this one. Excited to dive in for a thoughtful dram session.

Two Brewers Release 23 is from their Special Finishes line—this one having been treated to both ex-Sherry and ex-Port barrels for an undisclosed amount of time. There is actually no age statement on this bottle, but I have heard musings these releases are now between 5-8 years old… unfortunately, I cannot remember my source. Let me know if you know!
This whisky has a remarkable fruit and bread character (but I did expect some richer dark fruits and/or chocolate). I would sure like to know how other people interpreted what I’m calling the banana bread flavour... It’s a character that I do like in some whiskies, like Jack Daniels. But it feels out of place. Unexpected. Though it is not off-putting. All-in-all, this the richest Two Brewers whisky I have had to date.

And that’s it! Quick review. Time for a refill. Slàinte.

Details: Bottle 946 of 1170. Release No. 23, October 2020. "A lightly peated traditional malt with portions finished in both sherry and port barrels offers a complex balance of subtle fruit, oak and smoke."

Tasting Notes (Official): Port barrel oak and subtle sherry fruit mingle with an airy peat presence. A caramel coated entry funnels onto the tongue, astringent peat and cask influences enveloping the sensation. Sweet barrel fruit quips with drying oak and refined smoke in the delicate finish.

Tasted 11 Jan 2021. (Posted 14 Feb 2021.)

85/100
Detailed Rating Information...

90+: Fantastic whisky; highly recommended. My favourite whiskies – I might have more than one bottle if the price is right and the supply is limited! The higher values in this range will reflect a stronger balance and consistency between components.
85-89: Great whisky; recommended. Whiskies that really tick the flavour boxes and you'll likely hear about these from me. Great bottles to have stocked at all times.
80-84: Very good whisky; recommended, but still consider trying before you buy. Anything is this range or above I would gladly order at a restaurant or buy a bottle.
75-79: Good whisky; consider trying before you buy. These are whiskies that I enjoyed drinking, but likely would reach for another bottle from the shelf or select something different to order.
65-74: Average; consider trying before you buy, but not recommended. There is nothing that stood out about this whisky and I might be inclined to mix it with soda or in a cocktail, instead of trying to enjoy its own flavours.
50-64: Bad; not recommended.


Whisky Bottle