Total Pageviews

Social Media

Sunday 11 June 2023

AUCHNAGIE OR AUCHNAGAR LOST DISTILLERY

2013: THE REBIRTH OF AUCHNAGIE-THE LOST
DISTILLERY OF YESTERYEAR

Auchnagie Distillery: BORN 1812- DEMISE 1911

Auchnagie Distillery existed for almost 100 years, starting work as a remote farmhouse distillery and ending its days as, arguably, the jewel in the crown of a global whisky empire. It had at least seven different owners and was silent for large parts of its life. This was not unusual for small-scale 19th-century distilleries, as their precarious existence was often at the mercy of lack of water, lack of money, changes to duty laws, repeated increase in taxes and local demand for the product.

There were several other distilleries that, in their heyday, produced outstanding whiskies. From 1823, when distillation was legalised, all good whiskies were Blended Malts, supplied at very high ABVs, averaging 65%. Arthur Bell even decried 63.5% ABV whiskies as just not good enough. These were all imbibed with soda, water and even ice. Swiss major Schweppes Tonic Water, which began in 1783, soon became the world's 'original soft drink' and by 1823, launched its Soda as the ideal addition to the high-ABV whiskies, although focussed primarily on its well-to-do clientele. Its Soda made a huge impact on the market, while also providing data as to how it was best employed. This led to a surge in the blended whisky market of that era, promoting known whiskies as well as its own sales.

A couple of opportunistic former Diageo high-end employees used this occasion and set up a company in 2013 to try and replicate the lost whiskies of yore, based on available data and deeply researched old folktales- that could stand the test of verification- narrated by founding distillery workers through the generations to define each unique Whisky and its story from the very beginning. The name: The Lost Distillery Company.

The Lost Distillery Company

The Lost Distillery Company is a subsidiary of Crucial Drinks, founded by former Diageo employees Scott Watson and Brian Woods in 2013. Their aim is to explore and celebrate the dozens of Scottish distilleries that have gone out of business at various times during the last century.

Working closely with Professor Michael Moss of Glasgow University and his team of archivists, they are able to create modern interpretations of the spirit once produced by stills now lost to the mists of time.

By scouring historical documents, tax records and contemporaneous accounts, they are able to build up a detailed picture of each distillery, taking everything into account from water source to still shape and the casks used for maturation. Once this profile has been created, their whisky-making team brings the spirit to life by blending malts sourced from current distilleries.

The re-creation of spirits few, if any, alive today have tasted is a fascinating concept, though the accuracy of any such endeavour can’t really be judged for obvious reasons. Best then to view this range simply as malts inspired by distilleries of old and judge each by the quality of the liquid in the bottle.

Auchnagie Distillery existed for almost 100 years, starting work as a remote farmhouse distillery and ending its days as, arguably, the jewel in the crown of a global whisky empire. It had at least seven different owners and was silent for large parts of its life. This was not unusual for small-scale 19th-century distilleries, as their precarious existence was often at the mercy of lack of water, lack of money, changes to duty laws and local demand for the product.

Auchnagie Distillery (or Tullymet as it was later known) was located near the hamlet of Tulliemet, approximately 6 miles South East of Pitlochry in Perthshire. The land in this area is rural, a mixture of pasture and rolling hills, with an ample supply of water flowing off of the high ground. Local farms in the area (from the 17th century) were built next to the streams, and many generated power by water wheel. Auchnagie Distillery augmented its water supply by constructing a water pool just above the distillery site – the remains of which can be seen to this day.

There were several distilleries in the local area and at least 3 in the immediate vicinity of Tulliemet. Knowledge of distillation seems to have been handed down through the generations, and several local farming families were involved in illegal distilling. This activity centred on the remote Loch Broom, where water and peat were in ready supply for those who worked the unlicensed “stells.” One local farmer constructed a barley “steep” underground, and covered the workings with wood and soil. Sheep grazed over the construction – this remained undiscovered by “the excise” and continued to provide malted barley well into the 19th century.

The precise location of where Auchnagie Distillery once stood is somewhat confusing, but research we believe, has identified the place. Tulliemet boasted three distilleries – Milton of Tulliemet, Braes of Tulliemet and Auchnagie. Alexander Duff, the owner of Milton, also owned a warehouse at Wester Auchnagie farm – which led many previous authors to assume the distillery was located there. In fact, it was warehousing only – we believe that Auchnagie Distillery was located half a mile away, at Easter Auchnagie. Just to confuse things further, Auchnagie changed its name in later years – to Tullymet! Still with us?

Auchnagie was reliant on water for both power and production. The water came from Loch Broom and flowed past the distillery via the Auchnagie Burn. The burn itself was deepened, widened and rock-lined for 500 metres above the distillery. The water had a particularly high mineral content, having been filtered through peat moss and granite. It was understood to be particularly good for making malt whisky.

“This distillery is favourably situated, and the water – a very important factor in the manufacture of whisky – is received from the springs of the Braes of Tullymet, and is especially suited for the making of Malt Whisky. The Whisky made here is of the very highest quality, and possesses the soft, mellow flavour now so generally approved of by connoisseurs of fine Scotch Whisky.” Alfred Barnard – Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom.

Auchnagie’s channelled water source drained into a specially constructed pool, with a sluice gate positioned at the bottom to control the flow. This construction helped prolong the distillation season. The pool is still visible on modern Google Maps. Barnard noted that there was no production when he visited as it was too warm for mashing – this was considered the norm, as Auchnagie, like other water-wheel-powered distilleries, was entirely at the mercy of rainfall for power supply. Also, with no temperature control on yeast activity, there was always the potential to lead to “blown” or “stuck” fermentation.

Bere barley (also referred to as beer or bygg) was the most common strain used. This was an ancient strain brought to Scotland by the Vikings. Availability of local and surplus barley generally governed the beginning and end of the distilling season. Poor harvests led directly to shorter seasons, or in extreme cases, no production at all. As an ingredient of whisky, its major drawback was the inconsistent size of grains. This created unevenly malted barley, leading to partially malted barley being mashed adding a greenish flavour note to the flavour of the whisky.

Commercial yeast was not available until the 1870s, although its influence in fermentation was understood. Farmhouses could maintain a homemade yeast culture made from potatoes and sugar. Alternatively, they could harvest a culture from the remnants of the washback. However, this technique was prone to contamination with bacteria and was not an efficient way to initiate fermentation.

Auchnagie peats were cut from the high ground above the distillery, adjacent to Loch Broom. Each family devoted time to securing their fuel for home and for the industry. They were dried on the high ground and carted down to Tulliemet. The major components of the dried peats were heather and moss, which gave off a delicate, perfumed note when tossed on the fire.

The copper mash tun would have been direct-fired by a mixture of coke and dried peat. The tun itself would have been made of wood and in the earlier years probably an oak puncheon. Later on, a purpose-built mash tun of around 2000 gallons was installed. There was a resident blacksmith in Tulliemet. Alexander Cameron was particularly skilled at making “vessels for the distillation of spirits,” and was in all likelihood the local purveyor of unlicensed distilling equipment in earlier times. Cameron also transported and sold his whisky to local taverns in Tulliemet and Ballinluig. Once Auchnagie was licenced, Cameron supplemented his income by renting a room in his house to Nicolas Oliver, who was the assistant Exciseman at Auchnagie, and who later moved to work at nearby Ballechin Distillery.

The washback would have been of wooden construction and in early years at least, unlikely to be purpose-built. Early distilleries on this scale would have used a puncheon or other portable vessel. The main problem would have been keeping the vessel free of yeast bacteria from previous batches of wash. Yeast works best in ambient temperatures and in the absence of any impurities. A build-up of bacteria would contaminate the wash with pungent farmyard off-notes. If this was in sufficient concentration it could halt yeast activity altogether, with potential loss of the entire batch.

In pre-industrialised times the size of the still dimensions and capacity were purpose-built to fit the space where they worked. In many instances, they were similar to other stills in the area. A fair comparison can be made with Edradour Distillery, and with Grandtully. Stills were constructed inside existing farm buildings, which generally restricted their height and capacity. Whisky from Highland distilleries was considered particularly desirable because, unlike Lowland Distillers, they used much smaller stills. It was long understood that whisky from the “sma” stills was far superior. While this may be true, it may also have been a reflection of the quality of Lowland Whiskies in the 19th century.

Legislation on still size changed several times between 1780 and 1823. For highland distillers from 1823, they were permitted to use a still of “not less than 40 gallons,” (the spirit still) providing they also operated a still of 500 gallons – no doubt the wash still. Therefore it’s fair to assume that stills were generally just over the minimum size permitted, and this only changed when purpose-built still rooms appeared as demand for whisky increased.

From the chart, we can deduce that there is no correlation between still size and the production of spirit. Output depended to a larger extent on how many months per year the distilleries operated, as they were highly dependent on local barley, and more importantly, local water supply. If Auchnagie was producing 19000 gallons in 1887 and had a capacity of 24000, then we can assume the distillery worked for around 9 months, from September to May. These figures equate to 2111 gallons per month or in modern measurements, to 9288 litres, which would today fill around 77 ex-bourbon barrels per month.

Successive owners improved Auchnagie’s capacity, not by adding bigger stills but more likely they developed techniques to lengthen the season, such as adding the water pool or providing a consistent supply of barley.

Whisky distilled in the early 19th century was generally not aged. Duty was paid on proof gallons produced – there was no incentive to watch it mature and evaporate. Whisky was stored in a cask as it was a means of transporting the goods to market. Cask size was usually octave or firkin. In the second half of the 19th century, hogsheads and butts appeared in greater numbers. Whisky in the earlier 19th century was generally all sold locally, and in casks. Retailers would dispense from the cask, and customers would arrive with a receptacle which would be filled accordingly. Commercially made bottles were not available until the late 1880s – their appearance, plus the invention of cork stoppers transformed the industry and its means of shipping the product.

Industrialisation and completion of the Highland Railway in 1863 created the means of transporting greater quantities of produce to a much wider area, including the wholesale markets in Edinburgh and Perth.

Aside from whisky, these merchants traded in Wine, Rum, Sherry and Madeira, and were the source of different types of casks bought, sold and refilled with Scotch whisky. The railway construction boom of the mid-19th century connected Perth with Inverness, with a station opening at Ballinluig in 1865. The main line followed the Spey River for much of its length, and several branch lines were built through communities now famous for whisky production. The proposed branch line from Tulliemet down to Ballinluig was never built, which meant transportation of bulk whisky down to the railway continued on horseback until the distillery ceased production in 1910.

There is evidence from Auchnagie’s later history, that some whisky was matured for a number of years. Local retailers sold whisky at “Never less than five years old,” and John Dewar and Sons offered a facility for storing privately purchased casks for a minimum of four years. If there was a taste for older whisky in the late 19th century, then eight years old was considered an extremely mature spirit. Remember Millard’s Black Dog, first sold in India as an 8-YO?

Compulsory bonding of two years was not brought into practice until 1915, later expanded to three years in 1916. This was a compromise negotiated by the Wine and Spirit Brand Association (which became the Scotch Whisky Association in 1940) with Lloyd George, who deplored alcohol consumption, particularly in the workplace and especially in wartime industries.

Key Individuals in Auchnagie History

The Dick family: The Dicks, Captain and Dr, were the land-owners of Wester and Easter Auchnagie, and thus the likely landlords of the Auchnagie Distillery. A descendent of the Dick family was known to enter the warehouses and tap casks for his personal supply. He was rumoured to hide bottles of whisky around the estate – some of which may still be waiting to be re-discovered in the hills above Tulliemet.

James Duff: James Duff is attributed as the first owner from 1827 to 1933, he is understood to have built the licensed Tullymet (Auchnagie) distillery on his land.

Alexander Forbes: Forbes operated a distillery at_ Milton of Tulliemet_ from 1825 to 1837, and owned a warehouse at Wester Auchnagie Farm._Forbes was later instrumental in licensing_ Edradour Distillery_. His brother James Forbes was involved with Grandtully Distillery.

Duncan Scott: Operated the distillery from 1860 to 1862, and was probably responsible for the construction of the water pool at Easter Auchnagie. Scott was sequestrated in 1862, and the distillery then had an additional 4 tenant distillers over the next 25 years.

Peter Dawson: Dawson owned the distillery for one year – 1887 to 1888. Dawson was a well-known whisky merchant and something of a showman. He made headlines by bottling the largest vatting of whisky then recorded – some 23,000 gallons for his own brand – Peter Dawson Blended Scotch. A blend of “Titanic proportions” according to a publication of the time.

Dawson was given a platform by, of all organisations, the Temperance Association! Dawson noted that there was no point in attempting to cure the drunkard from the purely religious or moral sides. “…his emotional power is impaired, his willpower weakened. He must be dealt with from the physical side.”

“Let temperance reformers turn their attention to… villainous decoctions which, sold under the honourable designation of Scotch whisky, constitute what Carlyle has designated the “insidious brain stealer and soul paralyser.” And focus on… The influence of purely-blended and well-matured Scotch whisky, such as Mr Dawson stands sponsor for. Dawson is working as earnestly in the temperance cause as the most rabid lecturer of the Temperance League. These men have failed with religious appeals, moral suasion, and pledges to reduce drunkenness. The latest returns show that the evil is on the increase."

Dawson further noted… “I believe that public taste is tending towards blends rather than to single whiskies, and that skilfully blended liquor of ascertained and undoubted maturity would speedily displace those immature inferior, and un-wholesome spirits which are frequently put on the market.

I am working in the cause of temperance, because if men and women must have whisky, then, I say, let them have it pure and the best that can be manufactured. It is the immature and drugged whiskies that do the harm, steal away men’s brains, and create appetites and quenchless cravings."

John Douglas: Douglas was “The Exciseman” residing in what is now Woodside Cottage at Easter Auchnagie. Barnard noted an idyllic picture of Douglas’s life in 1887 when he tells us that the Exciseman “informed us that he leads quite a pastoral life here, and spends his summer days in his garden and little farmyard”.

Tommy Dewar (Whisky Tom): The final owners of Auchnagie Distillery (now renamed Tullymet) were the Perth -based whisky merchants, John Dewar and Sons. Tommy Dewar (youngest son of John Dewar Senior) lived in London from 1885 and within two years, had established Dewar’s Whisky as one of the top-selling brands in the capital. Based on this success, Dewar’s purchased Auchnagie Distillery, thus adding “distillers” alongside “blenders and bottlers” to their business.

In 1892 Tommy Dewar embarked on a World tour, aimed at promoting Dewar’s Whisky in the emerging markets of North America, Europe and Asia. Dewar visited 26 countries in two years and returned with 32 importer agreements, plus a Royal Warrant to supply Queen Victoria. Dewar’s was now a global brand – a tremendous success for Tommy Dewar. The distillery had its own brand called “Old Tullymet,” which gave it identity in an increasingly crowded whisky market. However, it was clear that the ambitions of John Dewar and Sons were higher than ever – what did “Whisky Tom’s” achievements overseas mean for their distillery at Auchnagie?

Demand for Dewar’s growing array of whisky brands was such that one small distillery could never produce enough whisky to supply demand. In 1894, Soon after Tommy Dewar’s return, distillery architects Charles Doig and Co were commissioned to build a distillery at Aberfeldy. This effectively meant the end of the road for the distillery at Auchnagie. Aberfeldy Distillery opened in 1896 and production ceased at Auchnagie for good in late 1910, and the building was noted as “vacant” the following year. In 1912 the equipment and machinery were removed, thus ending over a century or legal distilling history in the hamlet of Tulliemet.

Auchnagie Distillery enjoyed the best and worst of times – it survived for almost 100 years and was witness to tremendous change in the whisky industry. Railway construction, advances in steam motive power, development of the column or “Coffey” still, advances in yeast technology, and the expansion of the industry from domestic products to global brands to name but a few. The number of different owners illustrates how precarious a distillers’ lot could be – several were declared bankrupt, or simply gave up the tenancy due to lack of money, barley or water. The turnover of tenants had one additional consequence – none of them possessed the finance to upgrade or modernise the distillery.

Auchnagie’s location was far from ideal, but that was not the principal reason for its eventual closure. From a post-industrial perspective, Auchnagie was old, small and inefficient, particularly compared with the modern industrial distilleries constructed by Charles Doig. Transport links were poor and outdated.

Tommy Dewar’s achievements seemed to guarantee security – although the reality was somewhat different. Demand for Dewar’s whiskies outstripped the capacity of Auchnagie, and when compared with their new distillery in Aberfeldy, the asset in Tulliemet appeared an expensive liability.

Today, the water pool remains and can be inspected as it is on Atholl Estates land, but it is an overgrown weed bed. The old water course is stone-lined for quite a distance upstream, creating a deep channel for funnelling water down to the distillery. The pool itself is pear-shaped, approximately 25 metres long, and 15 metres at its widest. There are the remains of a concrete sluice gate at the bottom.

Woodside Cottage remains and is occupied – the garden gives amazing views and one can imagine John Douglas spending his summer tending his vegetables during the silent season. A bonded warehouse remains intact, opposite Woodside Cottage, and is currently used as a garage.

Aside from some old stone walls, there is little evidence of the old distillery itself, or the renowned whisky it produced.

Until now.


THE DISTILLERIES

  Auchnagie

  Stratheden

  Gerston

  Jericho / Benachie

  Lossit

  Towiemore

  AUCHNAGIE

The water source, Loch Broom really put Auchnagie on the map. As it silently flowed past the distillery, naturally high in mineral content, it remained so even after being filtered through peat moss and granite.  It laid the foundation for making Scotch whisky very mellow and flavourful.

The Spirit

Appearance: The colour in the Glencairn glass is pale yellow or light gold, like bales of straw in the barn loft after summer harvesting. To complete the image, the Scotch is just slightly opaque. The legs are long and reluctant and thick and inviting. They are actually fun to sit and watch (if it wasn’t so much more fun drinking it!).

Nose: The nose is light and airy and filled with floral notes. There is also a presence of honey and fresh fruit.  It’s a medium nose that’s easily detected.

Palate: On the palate, Auchnagie Scotch feels light, in spite of a creamy mouthfeel. At 46% ABV, it drinks slightly hot and that is a surprise. But it’s not an aggressive heat, but rather a warm, inviting and comforting one. It’s one that makes you think you need a more generous pour on the next round. There are notes of honey and fruit and light spice. It is primarily a mid-mouth experience that is very refreshing.  A medium to long finish eventually appears as the light spice turns to more of a peppery presence while asserting itself at the back of the mouth and even onto the lips.

This Scotch is never pushy and does not overstay its welcome. It does, however, leave you wanting more. This Scotch, at an excellent ABV, is not chill-filtered and makes you want to put it away to stretch its longevity in your hidey-hole. A kill at £ 50-55. 

Privacy Policy

Friday 2 June 2023

TRENDS IN WHISKY UP TO 2033

                       MORDOR INTELLIGENCE WHISKY MARKET ANALYSIS
                        GROWTH TRENDS & FORECAST (2023 - 2033)

The whisky Market is segmented by Product Type (Scotch Whisky, Indian Whisky, American Whiskey, Irish Whiskey, Canadian Whisky, and other product types), Distribution Channels (On-trade and Off-trade), and Geography. Based on Geography, the market studied is segmented into Europe (Spain, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe), Asia-Pacific (India, China, Japan, Australia, and Rest of Asia-Pacific), North America (United States, Canada, Mexico, and Rest of North America), South America (Brazil, Argentina, and Rest of South America), Middle East and Africa (South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Rest of Middle East and Africa). The report offers market size and values in (US$ million) during the forecast period for the above segments. Source: Mordor Intelligence

WHISKY MARKET ANALYSIS: 

Outlook 2023-2033: The global whisky market is projected to cross a net worth of US$ 270 Billion at a CAGR of 12% during the forecast period ending 2033.The global whisky market size reached US$ 64.0 Billion in 2022. Looking forward, the market is set to reach US$ 91.3 Billion by 2028, exhibiting a CAGR of 6.1% during 2022-2028, increasing rapidly to a CAGR of 12% by 2033. 

Innovations and advancements in the manufacturing of alcoholic drinks, coupled with an increase in the number of whisky distilleries across the globe are among the key factors driving the growth of the market. There is also an increasing demand for premium and super-premium whiskies across both developed and emerging nations.

Additionally, extensive promotional activities by manufacturers to strengthen distribution and purchase channels, along with the development of online retailing portals that provide consumers with a hassle-free shopping experience, is driving the market further. Moreover, product innovations such as organic whiskies are gaining rapid preference among consumers across the globe. Other factors, including rising disposable income levels and increasing urbanization, are also projected to contribute to the market growth.

The consumption of whisky at a moderate rate is considered beneficial for health as it reduces the risk of developing heart and blood pressure-related complications. However, excessive intake is associated with critical health issues. In cases of medical emergencies, it is also used as an alternative to alcohol to disinfect wounds.

India has overtaken France to become the UK’s largest market of Scotch whisky in terms of volume with a 60 per cent hike in imports in 2022 over the previous year, according to figures from Scotland’s leading industry body, The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA). They said that India imported 219 million 70cl bottles of Scotch compared to France’s 205 million last year – representing growth of the Indian Scotch market of more than 200 per cent in the past decade.  

As one of the key sectors of focus for the UK in the free trade agreement (FTA) talks with India, now in their seventh round of negotiations, SWA pointed out that the hike in volume still makes up only a fraction of the Indian whisky market due to high tariffs.

“Despite double-digit growth, Scotch whisky still only comprises 2 per cent of the Indian whisky market,” the association said on Friday. SWA analysis shows that a UK-India FTA deal which eases the 150 per cent tariff burden on Scotch whisky in India could boost market access for Scotland’s whisky companies, allowing for an additional GBP 1 billion of growth over the next five years,” it noted. The value of the Indian market for Scotch exports comes in at fifth worth GBP 282 million, up 93 per cent in 2021 and behind France, Singapore and Taiwan. The 2022 trend also saw the Asia-Pacific region overtake the European Union (EU) as the industry’s largest regional market, with double-digit post-pandemic growth also seen in Taiwan, Singapore and China besides India.

The para below consists of ads from other sources, if at all. Whisky has been spelt wrongly.

During a year of significant economic headwinds and global supply chain disruption, the Scotch Whisky industry continued to be an anchor of growth, supporting investment and job creation across Scotland and the UK. 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 a 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,” the SWA said. Overall, the year 2022 saw solid growth in Scotch exports around the world, with the US holding on to its topmost position as the largest market by value at GBP 1,053 million.

According to SWA data, on average the equivalent of 53 bottles of Scotch Whisky are exported every second -- up from 44 per second in 2021. Bottled Blended Scotch Whisky accounts for 59 per cent of value exports, with Single Malt 32 per cent of all Scotch whisky exports by value.

Consumers nowadays all over the world have more sophisticated palates compared to a few years ago. They are constantly looking to explore unique, high-quality alcoholic beverages such as whisky, wine, and others. Including natural ingredients in alcoholic beverages improves their functionality, and such products are gathering much attention from consumers. Therefore, the changing lifestyle and preferences of consumers are some factors driving the global whisky market.

The COVID-19 pandemic affected the whisky market; for example, Pernod Ricard, one of the top players in the whisky industry, witnessed a decline in profit margins by 20% as per the company's annual report. This was due to the closure of various hotels, restaurants, and alcohol shops worldwide, which limited whisky sales. Moreover, due to decreasing international visitor spending by 65% around the globe and a decrease in exports, the whisky industry experienced a significant decline.

However, post-pandemic, the whisky market is recovering much faster, and it is anticipated to return to the pre-COVID stage over the next few years. The growing consumption of alcoholic beverages across various countries is contributing to market growth. High disposable income, changing consumer lifestyle, and high standard of living are some of the few trends influencing market growth.

WHISKY INDUSTRY SEGMENTATION

Whisky is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented barley, corn, rye, wheat mash, or by distilling beer. The whisky market is segmented by product type, distribution channel, and geography. Based on product type, the market is segmented into Scotch whisky, American whiskey, Irish whiskey, Canadian whisky, and other product types. By distribution channel, the market is segmented as on-trade and off-trade channels. Based on Geography, the market is segmented into Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, India, Australia, and Rest of Asia-Pacific), Europe (Spain, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe), North America (United States, Canada, Mexico, and Rest of North America),, South America (Brazil, Argentina, and Rest of South America), Middle East and Africa (South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Rest of Middle East and Africa). For each segment, the market sizing and forecasts have been done on the basis of value (in US$ million).

Product Type

Scotch Whisky

 

Indian Whisky           

American Whiskey and Whisky               

Irish Whisky              

Canadian Whisky and Other Types             

Other Product Types

Distribution Channel

On-trade 

 

Off-trade  

Geography

Europe

United Kingdom         

 

 

France   

Spain                           

Germany

Italy

Russia

 

Asia-Pacific

China

India

Japan

Australia 

Rest of Asia-Pacific

 

North America

United States

Canada

Mexico

Rest of North America

 

South America

Brazil

Argentina

Rest of South America

 

Middle East and Africa

South Africa

Saudi Arabia

Middle East

Rest of Africa 

 Trends: Growing Consumers' Preferences Toward Brand Ownership

Demand for variety in Scotch whisky from emerging markets and the request for lower alcohol varieties and organic whisky among health-conscious drinkers are driving the market forward. Moreover, with the increasing focus on healthy living worldwide, people prefer the top brands for consumption. Also, top players in the market have initiated a new trend of organic whisky. For example, Bainbridge Organic Distillers have developed artisan-distilled spirits made from USDA-certified organic wheat, barley, triticale, and corn, grown primarily for their distillery. Also, the quality of each of their products is a direct reflection of the superiority of their grains. Organic whisky is mostly manufactured using grains such as malt barley, maize, wheat, and rye. Consumers prefer the top brands in whisky due to the brand image and the quality offered by these brands.

WHISKY MARKETS: TOP WHISKY BRANDS IN MILLIONS OF 9-LITRE CASES  

 

THE NORTH AMERICAN SHARE

The US whiskey market is driven by premiumisation trends and emerging consumer trends toward innovative brands and a diversification of their product ranges. Therefore, the American population’s increased interest in premium products, high-end premium, and super-premium brands drove the growth over the past five years. Additionally, the prevalence of drinking trends is aiding the growth of the market. A survey published by Statistics Canada showed 15.6% of Canadians were considered heavy alcohol drinkers. This factor is driving the sales of whiskey across North America. Additionally, the booming demand for spirits in on-trade channels, including full-service restaurants and caf├ęs/bars (than off-trade sales performance), is expected to increase the demand for whiskey in the United States during the forecast period.

WHISKY INDUSTRY OVERVIEW

The whisky market is witnessing high competition due to the diversified product portfolio of key players and growing investment in strategic expansion. These factors are leading to intense competition among the existing players. In addition, key players are focusing on online distribution channels for online marketing and branding of their products to expand their geographical reach and customer base. Key players operating in the whisky market include Diageo PLC, Bacardi Ltd, Asahi Group Holdings Ltd, Pernod Ricard SA, and Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd, among others.

WHISKY MARKET LEADERS

Diageo plc

Bacardi Limited

Suntory Beverage & Food Limited

Pernod Ricard

The Brown-Forman Corporation

Asahi Group Holdings Ltd

William Grant & Sons Holdings Ltd

The Edrington Group

Allied Blenders and Distillers Pvt Ltd

Constellation Brands

La Martiniquaise

Focus on Sustainability: Millennial and Gen-Z consumers have now firmly established that they are willing to pay more for sustainably produced goods. These groups gravitate toward locally-sourced ingredients, which accounts for the rising interest in grain-to-glass distilleries. Today’s consumers will chart a departure from their predecessors. For this generation that is younger, it is less about quantity and more about quality. The idea of better ingredients that are also produced through a responsible process, is a priority and a must for the younger generations who are more educated about our carbon footprint. Premiumisation, or the rise of higher-priced spirits (another trend we’re likely to see continue in 2023), will ease the pressure on producers who face rising costs as sustainability initiatives demand additional investment.

Investment in Social Media: Taking cues from the hospitality industry as a whole, whisky distilleries will continue to expand their reach through collaborations with social media influencers. Bartenders at on-premise restaurants will serve up new whisky cocktails that take visuals into account, opting for creative, social media-ready presentations. As brand storytelling gains momentum in the marketing world, opportunities will arise for whisky producers to share stories of their distillers, bartenders, and other team members. Short-form video tends to outperform other types of social media content, and the creative marketers in the whisky world are sure to serve up some poignant stories in 2023.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI): Many whisky brands are already taking strides to create more diverse workplaces and combat the stereotype of whisky drinkers only looking a certain way. This momentum will pick up steam in 2023. Du Nord Social Spirits is pushing for expanding DEI initiatives in the whisky industry because for them it’s a no-brainer. DEI just makes good business sense. If you want a business that will be relevant in 20 years, you’ve got to recognize that this country is changing and has changed, and the younger generation wants a product that reflects their values.

Innovation Through Barrel Finishing:  Also known as secondary maturation, barrel finishing is a tool that distillers use to fine-tune the flavours of their finished whiskies. After ageing in one barrel, the whisky is transferred to a different, previously-used barrel to take on some of its flavours and aromas. This practice is not new, but as consumers continue to demonstrate a taste for more complex flavours, the technique will increase in popularity. Some experts warn that too much barrel finishing could be dangerous for the industry because it can be used to mask the flavour of an inferior product. But for distillers who have mastered their craft, barrel finishing an established product is a sophisticated way to appeal to the most discerning whisky lovers.  

MORE GLOBAL SINGLE MALTS:

England: English whisky is whisky produced in England. At least eight distilleries currently produce it, and there are 26 whisky distilleries across England in various stages of development. Though England is not well known for whisky, distillers operated in London, Liverpool and Bristol until the late 19th century, after which production of English single malt whisky ceased until 2003. Since then, English whisky has experienced a resurgence in production.

History

England, like Scotland, has a history of producing single malt whisky. However, the production of English single malt whisky ceased around 1905 with the closure of Lea Valley Distillery, in Stratford, London, by the Distillers Company Limited, one of the forerunners of Diageo.

In the 1887 book, The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom by Alfred Barnard, the following English distilleries were listed:

Lea Valley Distillery, Stratford, Essex (founded in the late 19th century) — produced both grain and malt whisky.

Bank Hall Distillery (Liverpool) — produced grain and malt whisky.

Bristol Distillery (founded in the 17th century) — produced grain whisky which was "sent to Scotland and Ireland to make a Blended Scotch and Irish whisky, for whisky purpose it is specially adapted, and stands in high favour.

Vauxhall Distillery in Liverpool (founded in 1781) — produced grain whisky.

In 2005, The English Whisky Co. Ltd got permission to build the first registered whisky distillery in England for over a century; it first release of single malt occurred in 2009; which became the only English Whisky to have been bottled and released for over 100 years. In 2013 The London Distillery Company began production of the first single malt whisky in London since Lea Valley Distillery closed in 1903. Two other English distilleries, also producing whisky by 2014, were The Lakes Distillery and The Cotswolds Distillery.

DISTILLERY

FOUNDED

1ST CASK

1ST RELEASE

Bimber Distillery

2016

2016

September 2019

Chase Distillery

2008

2012

 

Cooper King Distillery

2016

2018

 

Copper House Distillery

2010

2010

December 2013

Copper Rivet Distillery

2016

2017

November 2020

The Cotswolds Distillery

2014

2014

October 2017

Circumstance Distillery

2018

 

 

Dartmoor Whisky Distillery

2017

2017

September 2019

Durham Distillery

2014

 

 

East London Liquor Co

2014

2015

December 2018

Ellers Farm Distillery

2021

2021

 

Henstone Distillery

2017

2017

January 2021

Hicks & Healey

2003

2003

September 2011

Isle of Wight Distillery

2014

2015

December 2018

The Lakes Distillery

2011

2014

June 2018 (The Lakes Genesis)

The London Distillery Co

2011

 

2018

Ludlow Distillery

2008

2014

2018

Oxford Artisan Distillery

2017

2017

 

Princetown Distillery

2018

 

 

The Spirit of Manchester Distillery

2016

2022

 

Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery

2016

2016

2019

St George's Distillery

2006

2006

2009

Wharf Distillery

2014

2014

2019

White Peak Distillery

2017

2018

 

Whittaker's Distillery

2015

2019

 

American Single Malts: Single malt whisky has historically been synonymous with Ireland and Scotland. But in the last few years, distillers from around the world have begun to experiment with the spirit, giving it a new, modern twist. In particular, the American single malt is starting to make its mark. American whisky producers are currently advocating for the establishment of a legal definition for single malt (like those on the books in Ireland and Scotland). Over 200 American distillers are already producing single malt using the guidelines proposed for this legal distinction, and it won’t be long before we see this niche elbow its way firmly onto the scene.

Riffs on Classic Whisky Cocktails in the Ready-To-Drink Category: Ready to Drink (RTD) cocktails are having a moment, with sales up over 225 per cent since 2016. Consumers are displaying a sustained openness to unique flavours, and Bevsource reports a 46 per cent increase from 2017-2021 in canned cocktails that contain botanical extracts. Expect to see RTD producers take advantage of this niche by spicing up the old classics. Whisky sour with ginger or mango anyone?

Addenda:

Whisky Market News

October 2022: William Grant & Sons launched their travel retail exclusive range of whiskies under its Glenfiddich whisky brand. The range included four exclusive types of whiskies: Vat 01 is 40% ABV, Vat 02 is 43% ABV, Vat 03 is 50.2% ABV, and Vat 04 is 47.8% ABV.

March 2022: Godawan Single Malt, a locally produced artisanal whisky, was introduced by Diageo India. The company has upscaled its portfolio in the nation. Godawan was initially offered in Rajasthan and Delhi, and the company later announced plans to make the product available throughout the country.

August 2021: Pernod Ricard S.A. launched its new brand, "The Chuan Whisky". According to the company, the whisky launched is deeply embedded in Chinese culture and philosophy. 

Bruichladdich Regeneration Project Islay Single Grain Scotch Whisky: In an effort to combat the growing cost of agro-chemicals, avoid monoculture, reduce input, and diversify crops, Bruichladdich worked with a prominent farmer to introduce rye to his fields. Rye can bring huge benefits as a rotational crop, which not only reduces the need for artificial fertilizer but also improves soil health and structure. Until this project, rye had never been grown on Islay before, but the results of Bruichladdich Regeneration Project Islay Single Grain Scotch Whisky (a.k.a., Bruichladdich Islay Rye) may find it working itself into crop rotations more often.

Golden syrup in colour, the nose offers waves of liquorice, black pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg, followed by maritime notes, delicate citrus, and honey. The palate balances a soft texture alongside rye’s spicy, peppery heat, and the sweetness of marzipan, vanilla, and chocolate. All of these complement the spice of the rye and the citrus green fruit notes of the Islay-grown barley. Notes of vanilla custard and pastry complete the experience.

Compass Box’s Extinct Blends Quartet—which features whiskies inspired by flavours of the past—the producer looked to reimagine its iconic extinct blend, Asyla, a cornerstone of the brand until its retirement in 2018. To do this, the whisky makers turned to older stocks, focusing on capturing Asyla’s vibrancy and soothing sweetness. The result is Delos, the second offering in the series.

Named after a Greek island strewn with mosaics and ruined ancient temples—and said to be the birthplace of the god Apollo—Delos signifies Asyla’s beauty and serenity as a whisky. The blend uses a mix of malt and grain from some of Compass Box’s rarest stocks, including whisky from Glen Elgin, Imperial, and Miltonduff distilleries—all aged in American oak barrels.

The result offers a sweet yet mellow medley of ripe pear, pineapple, orange, and vanilla notes, while the maturity of the grain whisky gradually builds to reveal guava, heather honey, and chai spices.

                      

The Single Malts of India: Amrut Distilleries recently launched an umbrella brand, The Single Malts of India, to showcase the hidden gem malts of India. The first phase of the release, called Neidhal, will be a limited release of 12,000 bottles around the world, with 1,200 bottles being allocated for India.

According to the brand, ancient Tamil texts dating back to the Sangam period of 300 B.C. classify earth into five regions called Tinais. These regions are associated with their own literary style, grammar, mood and more. Under this classification, “Neidhal” is comprised of all Oceans and neighbouring regions. or in short Coastal Plains and the way of living one associates with them.

Neidhal is thus described as a single malt eponymously sourced from a Neidhal or coastal region and is said to exhibit traits that uniquely spring from the locale – official tasting notes make mention of tropical fruits, vanilla punctuated by soft phenols and above all sea salt on the nose. On the palate, it is fruit cocktail and mesmerising phenols with a touch of iodine. The middle ground is an essay in chewability and a finish that is phenolic with a touch of sweet vanilla.

Amrut Bagheera | Sherry Cask Finish 46% ABV A sherry cask-finished Amrut Indian single malt whisky, made with 1% peated malt to create subtle smoky nuances and complexity. This ‘black panther’ expression was co-developed with La Maison du Whisky. The nose offers complex aromas of dried fruits and nuts, vanilla caramel and a light whiff of smoke. On the palate, fruity notes of orange and peach lead into a long finish filled with toffee and toasted chestnuts.

Amrut Spectrum Single Malt Whisky 50% ABV

The world’s first-ever multi-wood barrel whisky. Amrut Distilleries has launched the Spectrum 004 in India, to coincide with the third global release. Riding high on the response of recent releases in India of Amrut Fusion X, Triparva and Neidhal, Amrut is bringing the exclusive Spectrum Single Malt Whisky which is aged in a one-of-a-kind barrel. This custom-built barrel also christened as Spectrum casks that is only available in Amrut, is made with not one kind of Oak staves but four different types.

To make the Spectrum 004, a two-part maturation technique has been employed, the first being maturation of New Make spirit in an ex-Bourbon cask then the innovation follows where the spirit is transferred to a custom build barrel fusing American and European type barrels into one single barrel a.k.a Spectrum cask, where the aged spirit is matured for the remaining period into this magical cask. These Spectrum barrels are made with 4 different kinds of staves, new American Oak with Char level 3, lightly toasted new French Limousin Oak, ex-Oloroso sherry staves, and ex-PX Sherry staves.

THE BARREL-TWIST! Whisky, for the past 400 years has traditionally been aged in a cask made of one type of oak wood, which lends flavour and complexities to the malt. However, Amrut wanted to experiment with a cask with four different types of wood. This however presented a unique challenge, as each oak wood stave had different thickness and properties. The problem was addressed with an indigenous and ingenious solution; four different casks were made, each of a different type of wood, and corresponding staves were removed to be stitched together in one cask. The barrel, therefore, consisted of a mix of new American Oak, new French Limousin Oak, ex-PX sherry cask stave and ex-Oloroso sherry cask stave. The Spectrum barrel has some old, some new yet equal proportions of all four kinds of staves arranged in a one-after-the-other manner lending their own characteristics and complexities to the malt unlike ever before in the centuries of whisky-making.

 Privacy Policy