Good times for Scotch

The premiumisation trend across alcohol is having a positive effect on the Scotch whisky category as consumers trade up to premium blended scotch whisky. Drinks Industry Ireland takes a look at some of the stand out brands in the Scotch market

CGA’s market measurement service shows Britain’s total on-trade whisky sales totalled £959m in 2023 – a 2.0% drop year-on-year. However, there was significant growth of 18.2% in Scotland. Consequently, Scotland now accounts for 15.4% of all whisky sales by value.
Sales growth in Scotch has been powered by malt whisky, where the value rate of sale increased by 35.9% year on year in Scotland in 2023. Malts now have a 31.8% share of all whisky sales – marking an increase of 3.3 percentage points. This has come at the expense of blended and American whiskey, which lost 2.7 and 1.0 percentage points of share respectively.
Last August the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) released figures demonstrating that exports in the first half of 2023 were continuing to deliver for the UK economy, as consumers drive the global trend for choosing higher quality products such as scotch whisky, which like other spirits are served in lower volumes compared to other alcohol categories.
Data for H1 2023 shows that the value of scotch whisky exports held steady when compared with the first half of 2022 – a year in which the industry posted record exports as markets grew and restocked following the pandemic. Export value in H1 2023 was £2.57 billion, down just 3.6% on 2022. In the same period, the volume of exports fell by 20% to the equivalent of 630m 70cl bottles.
This continues the global trend of consumers preimmunising in the spirits category, trading up within the scotch whisky industry to premium blended scotch whisky, single malt and, increasingly, blended malt scotch whisky. Consumers are drinking fewer units of alcohol, but premiumisation builds value through increased production, investment and export, and benefits the domestic economies of export markets through excise tax and other related costs.

All tastes are possible

The Glenmorangie copper stills in which they distil their spirit are the tallest in Scotland

At Glenmorangie they believe that all tastes are possible. Deep in the Highlands of Scotland, they have been dreaming up delicious single malt whiskies for more than 175 years. Starting with water, wood, yeast and barley, they craft their fruity, more delicate spirit in stills as tall as a giraffe, to allow more space for taste and aroma. Then they age it in the world’s finest casks. Led by director of whisky creation Dr Bill Lumsden, they are on a mission to bring new flavours and possibilities to the world of single malt.
They began crafting their single malt in 1843, when farmer William Matheson and his wife Anne followed their dreams and founded the Glenmorangie Distillery, on a Highland farm. Their whisky makers have been dreaming up wondrous whiskies in the very same spot, ever since. Just as imagination led the way for their founders, so it does for their whisky makers today. Dr Bill’s favourite phrase is “What if…?” And he is constantly challenging himself and his whisky creation team to take whatever captures their fancy and turn it into whisky. Be it a sunset (Glenmorangie Lasanta), an espresso (Glenmorangie Signet), or an autumn day (Glenmorangie 18 Years Old), that is exactly what they do.
The copper stills in which they distil their spirit, are the tallest in Scotland. With necks as tall as a giraffe, they allow more space for taste and aroma. And so they craft a wonderfully fruity and delicate spirit, ripe for experimentation.
The Glenmorangie range is available in independents nationwide. Contact your local Edward Dillon sales representative for more information.

Ardbeg, the untamed spirit of Islay
For over 200 years, Ardbeg has been made on the small, remote Scottish Island of Islay

For over 200 years, Ardbeg has been made on the small, remote Scottish Island of Islay

Ardbeg has been called “as close to perfection as makes no difference,” by whisky connoisseurs. Proof then, that Ardbeg truly deserves its incredible reputation. It’s a whisky that’s worshipped around the world. Six different Ardbeg expressions have won prestigious titles including World Whisky of the Year, Scotch Whisky of the Year and World’s Best Single Malt.
For over 200 years, Ardbeg has been made on the small, remote Scottish Island of Islay. Some people travel to Ardbeg along the winding road from Port Ellen. Others follow their nose, their destiny, or the advice of a good friend. However they get here, what they discover is a whisky like no other. Because there’s no other distillery on the planet that celebrates smoke in the way Ardbeg does.
On the lyne arm of Ardbeg’s spirit still there is a piece of apparatus called a purifier. Unique on Islay, Ardbeg’s purifier provides a little extra reflux during distillation – allowing some of the vapours to be condensed and returned to the still to be distilled again. This is what gives Ardbeg its great balance and complexity, because although it is made using very heavily peated malt, the heavy peat notes never dominate.
Ardbeg’s core range includes Ardbeg 10 Year Old, Ardbeg An Oa, Ardbeg Uigeadail, and Ardbeg Corryvreckan. The Ardbeg core range is available in independents nationwide. Again, contact your local Edward Dillon sales representative for more information.

Macallan collaboration with Stella And Mary McCartney

The third release in The Harmony Collection celebrates the lands of Scotland that connect all those who have stood upon them for generations

The Macallan has announced a collaboration with Stella and Mary McCartney, united by curiosity, respect and admiration for the natural world. Stella and Mary have partnered with The Macallan on the creation of the third edition of The Harmony Collection – the limited annual release series which shines a spotlight on the brand’s inherent curiosity and innovative and creative mindset.
The third release in The Harmony Collection celebrates the lands of Scotland that connect all those who have stood upon them for generations. The third instalment in the annual release series includes two distinctive expressions: The Macallan Harmony Collection Amber Meadow and Green Meadow, inspired by The McCartney sisters’ love of Scotland which stems from their memories in the Scottish countryside. To mark this deep connection with the land, the presentation boxes and bottle labels have been made using discarded meadow cuttings embracing the re-use of natural materials to create beauty from resources at the end of their lives.
The packaging of each release features photography of The Macallan Estate captured by Mary McCartney.
The Macallan Whisky Mastery Team has taken inspiration from natural Scottish grasslands to create two distinctive, limited-edition whiskies, using a combination of sherry seasoned oak and bourbon casks.
Steven Bremner, Whisky Maker said: “There is so much to discover with The Macallan Harmony Collection Amber Meadow. It is a single malt redolent of warm meadows and mature barley fields, with a rich, citrus scented finish.”
The Macallan Harmony III Collection Amber Meadow is available since Nov 2023 at a RRSP of €270. Stockists in Ireland include The Celtic Whiskey Store, James Foxes and O’Brien Fine Wines.
For further information visit https://www.themacallan.com/en/stella-and-mary-mccartney

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