It wouldn't be St Patrick's Day without an Irish whiskey to quench your thirst, and as new data from the Irish Whiskey Association has found, drinkers are increasingly turning to premium variants of this popular tipple.
Figures from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, DISCUS, has found that some 851,000 cases – more than ten million bottles – of super-premium Irish whiskey were sold in the US last year, which represented 14% of the total category.
This means that the super-premium Irish whiskey segment has risen 165% since 2015, when 320,000 cases were sold.
Upgrading To Premium
“While Irish whiskey has been the world’s fastest growing spirit since 2010, this growth has primarily taken place at standard price points," commented William Lavelle, director of the Irish Whiskey Association. "This is changing, as more and more consumers are turning to Irish whiskey as their luxury whiskey of choice.
“With more supply coming available of age-statement, super-premium brands – from both established and newer distilleries – it is clear that Irish whiskey is going to be an increasingly important player at the higher end of the whiskey market, becoming a real alternative to Scotch single malts.”
Redbreast Sales Rocket
According to Bushmills, one of Ireland's largest distilleries, single pot still whiskeys are showing sold growth, with the Casa Cuervo-owned group's Redbreast brand reporting record volume growth in the first half of fiscal year 2021 (+19%).
“The Irish saying ‘an rud is annamh is iontach’ means that ‘the thing that's seldom is wonderful’ and this is particularly true in the context of Irish whiskey, presenting a real opportunity for the industry as premiumisation continues to gather pace," commented Billy Leighton, master blender at Irish Distillers.