DISCUS

Forget Green Beer; Irish Whiskey is Booming

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This St. Patrick’s Day, Americans will be raising a glass of Irish whiskey; high-end whiskey that is.

In 2015, super premium Irish Whiskey grew 54.4 percent, while high end premium Irish Whiskey rose 13.7 percent. This trend continues the impressive growth of the Irish Whiskey category with high end and super premium Irish Whiskeys growing a staggering 589 percent and 3,054 percent, respectively, since 2002.

"Irish whiskey has exploded in the US in large part due to the fact that it's very familiar to most American drinkers and is now expanding in terms of different expressions,” said Washington, D.C. mixologist and Irish Whiskey expert JP Fetherston, whose mother hails from Tipperary, Ireland. “More approachable for whiskey newcomers, Irish Whiskeys are subtle and delicate, which is both challenging and exciting to work with as I often have to ensure I don't lose its gorgeous character within a cocktail."

According to Distilled Spirits Council Senior Vice President Frank Coleman, “It is the premium categories leading the Irish Whiskey boom as adult consumers continue to favor higher-end products. The growth of Irish Whiskey is reflective of the overall trend of consumers trading up to more premium versions of their favorite spirits.”

While the higher price categories had the most substantial growth, the entire category is growing. In 2015, over 3.2 million 9-liter cases of Irish Whiskey were sold in the United States, generating $664 million in revenues for distillers. This compares to nearly 2.8 million cases and $553 million in revenue in 2014.

For more statistics on the Irish Whiskey category click here.

 

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The Distilled Spirits Council is the national trade association representing producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the United States.

 

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