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Wednesday 29 November 2023





This is something you didn't know. History says that The Mayflower sailed from Plymouth, England, bound for the New World with 102 passengers, on 16/9/1620. The ship was headed for Virginia, where the colonists–half religious dissenters and half entrepreneurs–had been authorized to settle by the British crown. However, stormy weather and navigational errors forced the Mayflower off course, and on November 21 the Pilgrims reached Massachusetts, where they founded the first permanent European settlement in New England in late December. This is the 'doctored' version.

They landed, for many reasons, on the tip of Cape Cod at what is now Provincetown, Massachusetts. A party of armed men was sent out to explore the area and find a location suitable for settlement. Three weeks later, some passengers went ashore at the site located by the advance party, to a place they named Plymouth. The trip was from Plymouth, England to Plymouth, New England. 

Actually, the ship had to stop at Newlyn in Cornwall on the Land's End peninsula in England before sailing west. It was believed that the water picked up at Plymouth had caused fever and cholera in the city, so Newlyn provided fresh water to the ship. 

The first landing in New England was because the ship was running out of beer. So they halted, went ashore and collected water so that the seamen-not passengers- might have more beer. The passengers demanded beer in place of water, as they were worried about contracting Cholera. The weather was intolerable, so all passengers returned to the ship to spend winter. They suffered an outbreak of a contagious disease described as a mixture of scurvy, pneumonia and tuberculosis. They drank beer, as far as possible, not water, as they thought that the water was unsafe. The beer was stored in barrels known as "hogsheads." 

When it ended, there were only 53 passengers, just over half, still alive. Likewise, half of the crew died as well.

Tuesday 28 November 2023



Whisky is a passion to explore. From the history of the spirit to the evolution of the industry, the story of whisky helps fuel that passion. Often, it’s easy to forget that whisky is also a global multi-billion dollar industry. The stories of whisky — from news and new releases to in-depth inquires and what goes on behind the label — blend together to help us appreciate the spirit of whisky.

The Scotch Whisky Category hasn’t been without its challenges in the past 12 months. Rising costs and supply-chain issues have taken their toll in 2022, as nearly 40 per cent of Scotch whisky distillers have seen their shipping costs double. 2023 may see the nether side of the Scotch Whisky Industry.

A recent survey of the industry found that 57% of distillers have seen energy costs increase by more than 10% in the past year, with nearly a third seeing their energy costs double. And things could become worse in 2023 if the UK government goes ahead with its planned double-digit excise duty rise – a decision that has been delayed until the new year. If the decision goes in the category’s favour, the SWA says it will free up companies to continue to invest, create jobs, and help to grow the economy.

The Scotch whisky industry has previously been an economic anchor during turbulent times, and that is what the industry hopes to do again with the right government support. According to Euromonitor International, the category is projected to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 04 per cent from 2021 to 2022, up by three percentage points. This might stagnate in 2023, which would then see a mathematical loss, not physical.

Multiple Scotch distilleries broke ground in 2022, while several others submitted plans for modern builds, including Portavadie on the banks of Loch Fyne.

Dál Riata and R&B Distillers applied to build new distilleries in Campbeltown, which will almost double the region’s current capacity, something that will add to the area’s predicted renaissance: Between Glen Scotia, Springbank and Glengyle, that create more than a million litres a year, there’s more than enough scope for more distilleries, and that’s really exciting.

Blends also should not be overlooked. Sales are expected to grow by volume (reaching 86.5m cases) and value (hitting US$44.9m) by the end of 2022. And expect a repeat in 2023, Euromonitor predicts, with a volume forecast of 98.7m cases and value worth US$47.5m. There is really no growth worth mentioning for 2023.

Scotch whisky exports declined in both value and volume during the first half of 2023, according to a new report from the Scotch Whisky Association. The report, based on HMRC statistics, shows a 3.6 percent decline in the value of Scotch Whisky exports over the first six months of 2023 compared to the same period a year ago. It should be noted that the first six months of 2022 set a record for both export value and volume as markets grew and restocked following the pandemic. The volume of Scotch whisky exports was down by 20 percent over 2022’s record volume.

SWA executives characterised the findings as part of a global trend toward premiumisation in the spirits category as consumers drink less, but better. According to SWA Chief Executive Mark Kent, “around the world, we continue to see the same trend – consumers drinking less overall and switching to higher quality spirits like Scotch Whisky. Premiumisation in the spirits category didn’t start during Covid-19, but the pandemic certainly accelerated the trend, and it remains the case that consumers are trading up, enjoying premium spirits, and consuming fewer units of alcohol. Scotch Whisky remains well placed to benefit from this shift.”

France reclaimed its long-standing position as the top export market by volume with 88 million (700ml equivalent) bottles, despite a 12.6 per cent decline from 2022. India, which had previously displaced France as the volume leader, recorded a 31.4 per cent decline to 72 million bottles. The United States ranked third with 59 million bottles even though overall exports were off by 14.9 per cent.

The U.S. continues to lead by value of exports with £437 million worth of Scotch Whisky imported during the first half of the year. However, that represents a 5.1 percent decline from 2022. France gained four per cent to £235 million to finish second once again, while Singapore’s role as an Asian shipping hub helped push exports up by 59 percent to £165 million. Taiwan and China both reported strong gains to round out the top five.

The premiumisation trend is most obvious in the Asia-Pacific countries, since none of those three crack the top ten in terms of value and the wider region reported a 13.5 per cent gain in export value. The European Union gained 3.8 per cent by value, while the non-EU European countries showed a 14.5 per cent gain. North America, the Middle East and Africa, and Central and South America all reported declining exports.

Scotch Whisky is a hallmark of Scotland's national heritage and identity. Exported to around 180 markets, Scotch Whisky is an important part of the Scottish and UK economies, generating billions in exports and supporting thousands of jobs. The quality and reputation of Scotch Whisky has made it one of the world’s best-known Geographical Indications. Securing the long-term sustainability of this thriving industry is the task of the industry’s trade body, the Scotch Whisky Association. The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) is working hard to ensure the industry continues to thrive. In particular, they discuss the vital role that Scotch Whisky’s long-held GI status plays in ensuring consumers continue to enjoy genuine Scotch Whisky. They also highlight SWA’s efforts to secure access to the talent and skills the industry needs to continue to thrive, for example, through its Diversity and Inclusivity Charter.






Facts & Figures

53 bottles of Scotch Whisky are exported every second to markets all over the world! There’s more about the amazing stats behind the industry.

·       53 bottles (70cl @40% ABV) of Scotch Whisky are shipped from Scotland to around 180 markets around the world each second, totalling over 1.6bn every year

·       Laid end to end those bottles would stretch about 467,000kms -  that's more than 11 times around the Earth!

·       In 2022, Scotch Whisky exports were worth £6.2bn.

·       In 2022, Scotch Whisky accounted for 77% of Scottish food and drink exports and 25% of all UK food and drink exports

·       In 2022, Scotch Whisky accounted for 26% of all Scotland’s international goods exports and 1.5% of all UK goods exports

·       The Scotch Whisky industry provides £5.5bn in gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy (2018)

·       More than 11,000 people are directly employed in the Scotch Whisky industry in Scotland and over 42,000 jobs across the UK are supported by the industry

·       7,000 of these jobs in rural areas of Scotland providing vital employment and investment to communities across the Highlands and Islands

·       Around 90% of barley requirements of the industry are sourced in Scotland

·       In 2019, there were 2.2 million visits to Scotch Whisky distilleries, making the industry the third most popular tourist attraction in Scotland

·       Some 22 million casks lie maturing in warehouses in Scotland waiting to be discovered - that is around 12bn 70cl bottles

·       To be called Scotch Whisky, the spirit must mature in oak casks in Scotland for at least 3 years

·       148 Scotch Whisky distilleries are currently operating across Scotland as of October 2023.

All figures relate to Jan-Dec 2022 unless stated otherwise.

Scotch Whisky Exports Over £6bn for First Time

Post-pandemic restocking, the return of Global Travel Retail and premiumisation trends all contributed to growth in volume and value for Scotch Whisky in 2022.

Global exports of Scotch Whisky grew to more than £6bn for the first time in 2022, according to figures released today by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA). 

In 2022, the value of Scotch Whisky exports was up 37% by value, to £6.2bn. The number of 70cl bottles exported also grew by 21% to the equivalent of 1.67bn.

The Asia-Pacific region overtook the EU as the industry’s largest regional market, with double-digit growth in Taiwan, Singapore, India and China as the post-Covid recovery continued.  

While established EU markets such as France, Germany and Spain continued their post-pandemic bounce-back with strong growth in 2022, India replaced France as the largest Scotch Whisky market by volume. Despite double digit growth, Scotch Whisky still only comprises 2% of the Indian whisky market. SWA analysis shows that a UK-India FTA deal which eases the 150% tariff burden on Scotch Whisky in India could boost market access for Scotland’s whisky companies, allowing for an additional £1bn of growth over the next five years.

In North America, the United States continued its recovery following the impacts of tariffs on Single Malt Scotch Whisky to again be the industry’s only market with exports valued over £1bn. Both Mexico and Canada also saw growth, underlining the importance of securing further market access wins through the renegotiation of the UK’s Free Trade Agreements with both countries.

In 2022, the industry benefited from the full re-opening of hospitality businesses in key global markets, as well as the return of global travel retail which opens such an important window for Scotch Whisky to business and leisure travellers. Exports were also boosted by the continued premiumisation trend, with consumers attracted to high-quality spirits like Scotch Whisky, now often enjoyed in longer serves as well as the more traditional dram.

Looking ahead, the industry will have to continue to navigate economic headwinds, including global inflationary pressures, domestic energy and business costs, and a reduction in consumer confidence. With the right support from home governments, SWA is confident that the industry can continue to deliver for the Scottish and wider UK economy. SWA looks forward to collaborating with government and regulators on initiatives including sustainability and responsible drinking, alongside work to further boost exports, creating jobs and investment in communities across the country.

By reducing tariffs through the UK-India free trade agreement, continuing the duty freeze in the March budget, and ensuring the industry’s continued ability to advertise our world-class product in our home market, the Scottish and UK governments can count on the Scotch Whisky industry to reinvest its success across the UK.


·      Export value of Scotch Whisky in 2022 was £6.2bn, up £1.68bn compared with 2021 and £1.28bn compared to 2019 (pre-pandemic)

·      Export volume of Scotch Whisky in 2022 was 1.67bn 70cl bottles (equivalent), up 291m 70cl bottles compared with 2021 and up 364m compared to 2019 (pre-pandemic)

·      On average, the equivalent of 53 bottles of Scotch Whisky are exported every second – up from 44 per second in 2021

·      Scotch Whisky was exported to 174 global markets in 2022

·      India overtook France to be the industry’s largest global market by volume for the first time - the volume of Scotch Whisky exports to India have grown by more than 200% in the past decade alone. India is the largest whisky market in the world but Scotch Whisky has just a 2% share of the Indian whisky market. The SWA believes that reducing the 150% tariff in India could increase the value of exports to the market by £1 billion over five years.

·      The United States recovered to reach over £1bn of exports – the first time since the 25% tariff on Single Malt Scotch Whisky was suspended (£1.06bn in 2019)

·     Bottled Blended Scotch Whisky accounted for 59% of value exports, with Single Malt 32% all Scotch Whisky exports by value.

Top 10 Markets  

The largest export destinations for Scotch Whisky (defined by value) in 2022 (vs 2021) were:  

·      USA: £ 1,053m +33% (£790m in 2021) 

·      France: £ 488m +26% (£387m in 2021) 

·      Singapore: £316m +50% (£212m in 2021) 

·      Taiwan: £315m +39% (£226m in 2021) 

·      India: £282m +93% (£146m in 2021) 

·      China: £233m +18% (£198m in 2021) 

·      Panama: £203m +165% (£77m in 2021) 

·      Germany: £202m +36% (£148m in 2021) 

·      Japan: £175m +32% (£133m in 2021) 

·      Spain: £173m +46% (£118m in 2021) 

The largest export destinations for Scotch Whisky (defined by volume, 70cl bottles equivalent) in 2022 were:  

·      India: 219m bottles +60% (136m bottles in 2021) 

·      France: 205m bottles +17% (176m bottles in 2021) 

·      United States: 137m bottles +9% (126 m bottles in 2021) 

·      Brazil: 93m bottles +14% (82 m bottles in 2021) 

·      Japan: 75m bottles +33% (56 m bottles in 2021) 

·      Germany: 67m bottles +48% (46 m bottles in 2021) 

·      Spain: 67m bottles +39% (48 m bottles in 2021) 

·      Poland: 49m bottles +9% (45 m bottles in 2021) 

·      Mexico: 48m bottles +2% (48 m bottles in 2021) 

·      South Africa: 39m bottles +15% (34 m bottles in 2021) 

Regional Data

In 2022, Scotch Whisky exports by global region (defined by value) were:

  • ·       Asia Pacific: £1818m +50% vs 2021 (29% of global exports)
  • ·       European Union: £1596m +17% vs 2021 (26% of global exports)
  • ·       North America: £1327m +32% vs 2021 (21% of global exports)
  • ·       Central and South America: £737m +66% vs 2021 (12% of global exports)
  • ·       Middle East and North Africa: £326m +74% vs 2021 (5% of global exports)
  • ·       Sub-Saharan Africa: £204m +30% vs 2021 (3% of global exports)
  • ·       Western Europe (ex EU): £146m +49% vs 2021 (2% of global exports)
  • ·       Eastern Europe (ex.EU): £39m -18% vs 2021 (0.6% of global exports)

Category Data

In 2022, Scotch Whisky exports by category (defined by value) were:

  • ·       Bottled Blend £3670m +43% vs 2021 (59% of global exports)
  • ·       Single Malt £1986m +30% vs 2021 (32% of global exports)
  • ·       Bulk Blend £190m +13% vs 2021 (3% of global exports)
  • ·       Bottled Blended Malt £140m +22% vs 2021 (2% of global exports)
  • ·       Bulk Blended Malt £130m +37% vs 2021 (2% of global exports)
  • ·       Bulk Single & Blended Grain £58m +39% vs 2021 (1% of global exports)
  • ·       Bottled Single & Blended Grain £19m +150% vs 2021 (0.3% of global exports)