North American Whiskey & Bourbon to bounce back?

Always popular in the on-trade before Covid, with the cessation of EU tariffs on American whiskeys and Bourbons, we get an update on how these two spirits categories are now faring here in Ireland.

The rise in sales of American Whiskeys here since the tariffs were abolished shows just how much damage was being done by the tariffs imposed on the US by the EU.

The tariffs of 25% were applied to US Whiskey and Bourbon imports in July 2018 in retaliation for US tariffs applied to European steel and aluminium products and were only officially suspended by the EU last January (although the UK only dropped them in June this year).

Between 2018 and 2021 sales of American Whiskey here decreased in value by 14% from $34.2 million to $29.4 million according to Euromonitor figures.

However the on-trade seems to be where the drop in sales here was most pronounced. Between 2018 and 2021 sales of Bourbon and other American whiskeys fell by over a quarter, from €18.5 million to €13.8 million.

While Lockdowns would have had some influence, total spirits exports from the US to Ireland also reflected the times.

In 2018 just under 10 million cases of US spirits were being exported to Ireland according to the US International Trade Commission. This dropped to 4.6 million in 2019 and to 2.9 million in 2020. Some recovery appeared in 2021 when case sales rose to 4.1 million here.

This year, from January to April, sales of US spirits are running to 1.7 million cases, up nearly 17% on the 2021 Year-To-Date figure of just under 1.5 million cases.

Now that the tariffs have been dropped by the EU, Euromonitor expects sales of Bourbons and other American Whiskeys this year to surpass previous values in previous years here.

Volumes of Bourbon and US whiskeys consumed here last year showed growth of 4.5% according to figures from the IWSR, from 84,500 nine-litre cases to 88,300 cases and these now claim nearly 4% of the total spirits consumption market in Ireland.

Bourbon and other US whiskeys witnessed this turnaround in their fortunes here last year thanks to the ending of EU tariffs on US spirits last Autumn.

Eurostat figures indicate that where 2020 saw a fall in exports of nearly 40% to €2.2 million, the following year exports were up 25.6% to €2.8 million.

Who’s to say that this increasingly popular on-trade spirit here won’t bounce back still further?

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Honey and Apple

With the addition of a new flavour variation in 2020, Jack Daniel’s now offers the perfect range to complete any back bar. With three expressions, each lending itself to a different consumer palate and occasion, Jack Daniel’s adds versatility and excitement to a cocktail menu. Each product has a unique production method and distinctive flavour that makes it unique while still unmistakably Jack!

Tennessee Whiskey: charcoal mellowed drop by drop through 10 feet of sugar maple charcoal, then matured in handcrafted barrels of our own making, our Tennessee Whiskey doesn’t follow a calendar. It’s only ready when our tasters say it is. We judge it by the way it looks. By its aroma. And of course, by taste. It’s how Jack Daniel himself did it over a century ago. And how we still do it today.

Tennessee Honey: a little bit of honey, a whole lot of Jack. A blend of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and a unique honey liqueur of our own making, for a taste that’s one-of-a-kind and unmistakably Jack. With hints of honey and a finish that’s naturally smooth, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey offers a taste of the unexpected.

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey is proud to be part of the top two flavour spirits in Ireland.

Tennessee Apple: real crisp Apples, real Jack Daniel’s, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple has the unique character of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey coupled with crisp green Apple for a fresh and rewarding taste. Bold, refreshing and exceptionally smooth, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple has had a great first year since launching in May 2020, to be part of the top 10 flavoured spirits in Ireland.

Woodford Reserve

The perfectly balanced taste of our Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey comprises more than 200 detectable flavour notes, from bold grain and wood, to sweet aromatics, spice, fruit and floral notes. With its honey amber appearance, complex flavours and silky-smooth finish, Woodford Reserve is a must have on any cocktail menu. Serve in an Old Fashioned for a classic American cocktail that’ll exceed your customers’ expectations.

Wild Turkey 101

 Wild Turkey 101 offers a lesson in traditional American values, most notably the refusal to compromise on standards of excellence.

For more than 60 years legendary Master Distiller Jimmy Russell has been crafting Wild Turkey 101 with a recipe unchanged since before Prohibition.

This Wild Turkey has been aged for at least six years in American White Oak barrels with the deepest #4 alligator char for more character before coming out of the barrel at 109 proof.

It is diluted slightly before bottling at 101 proof. Enjoy it neat, on the rocks, or in a classic cocktail; the Old Fashioned is now the Number 2 best-selling cocktail and we believe Wild Turkey is the perfect choice as its high proof allows the character of the liquid to shine through dilution and its mash bill includes a high rye content compared to other Kentucky straight Bourbons which adds depth of flavour and spicey notes.

Wild Turkey launched its new bottle in Ireland this year.


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