Scotch – a break with tradition

Today, with a younger demographic taking an interest in all kinds of spirits variants, why should Scotch be any different? We take a look at the evolving Scotch market.



There was once a time when mixing your Scotch with anything but plain old H2O was considered gauche in the extreme. A lump of ice became tolerable but still frowned on.  Then along came the 40s, 50s and 60s and with it the Mad Men era.

Today, as with most other spirits, the consumption of Scotch is moving away from traditional patterns.

For nearly half of all consumers ‘Scotch’ used refer to blended Scotch but over the last few years new generations of consumers have brought new, more adventurous attitudes to the game.

There’s no longer ‘a way’ that Scotch should be drunk. Thus the ‘experiential’ consumer will seek out Scotch that’s different – and which, by default, will enjoy higher margins.

Scotch comprises a variety of different ingredient styles. There’s single grain, blended grain, single & blended malts as well as regional varieties of these.

Here, the Scotch market has grown in volume by 2.6% over 2017 to 83,000 nine-litre cases in 2018 and is now worth €3.27 million according to the Scotch Whisky Association.

“Ireland and Scotland have a shared love of whisky but consumers in each country tend to favour their domestic spirit,” commented Graeme Littlejohn, the SWA’s Director of Strategy and Communications, “Despite this the number of bottles of Scotch Whisky exported to Ireland increased in 2018 with nearly a million 70cl bottles shipped. This increase in exports was helped by a 17% increase in the volume of Single Malt Scotch Whisky, but Blended Scotch remains dominant – nine out of every 10 bottles shipped to Ireland are blends.”




Premium spirits are leading the way in cocktail innovation and publicans should capitalise on that in the Scotch category by adding it to their cocktail range.

As with other forms of spirits, the present generation(s) of ‘young’ adult consumers have helped make premium, craft, flavour and heritage the drivers of the brown spirits market,  breaking down the more traditional barriers to sampling Scotch in the pub.



Bruichladdich distillery is located on the southwestern tip of the remote Hebridean island of Islay where they distil four unique spirits. It’s home to Bruichladdich, Port Charlotte and Octomore Single Malt whiskies and The Botanist Islay Gin.

There are many attributes shared with distant Gaelic forefathers of Bruichladdich: stubborn, resolute, self-sufficient, tough, hard-working, enduring, straight-talking, emotional, passionate, philosophical and engaging.

Head Distiller Adam Hannett has individually selected casks to showcase one of the its most prominent drinks, the Classic Laddie, its floral and elegant Bruichladdich house-style. Made from 100% Scottish barley, trickle-distilled, then matured for its entire life by the shores of Loch Indaal in premium American Oak, it’s a testament to the quality of the ingredients.

The Classic Laddie is smooth as pebbles in a pool. It’s clean, fresh and lively with both the Oak and the grain in perfect harmony.

For more information visit

Barry & Fitzwilliam distribute the range here nationwide.


Jura 10 Year-0ld whisky

Jura is the only distillery operating on the island of Jura itself which is to the north of Islay. With less than 200 people living there, it’s at the heart of their community and sits in the middle of Craighouse, the island’s biggest town.

There’s more to Jura Single Malt Whisky than water, barley and yeast. A little bit of their Island home, their community and passion makes it into every bottle.

The 10 Year-Old single malt is still produced today in a bottle originally shaped to withstand the roughest of journeys from the island.

Crafted in exceptionally tall stills, matured for 10 years in American white Oak ex-Bourbon barrels and fresh sea air, with a further enhancement from the finest aged Oloroso Sherry casks from Jerez, Spain.



Apollo Surprising


45 ml (1 1/2 oz.) Jura 10 Year-Old

20 ml (2/3 oz) Grenadine syrup

Ice cubes

5 Orange twists

1 sugar cube



Combine the whisky, Grenadine syrup and Orange twists in an old-fashioned glass containing a few ice cubes. Soak a sugar cube in whisky and place it on a fork balanced across the top of the glass rim.

Light the sugar cube aflame and place it in the cocktail.




40 ml (1 1/3 oz) Scotch

20 ml (2/3 oz) Red Vermouth

Splash of Citrus liqueur

Splash of Lime juice

Ice cubes



Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for eight to 10 seconds. Strain into a Martini glass using an ice strainer.

Barry & Fitzwilliam distribute Jura here.




Sign Up for Drinks Industry Ireland

Get a free weekly update on Drinks Industry trade news, direct to your inbox. Sign up now, it's free