Irish whiskey sales on fire for St Paddy's

Irish whiskey sales on fire for St Paddy's

Step aside, green beer. This St Patrick’s Day premium Irish whiskey will be the tipple of choice according to the Distilled Spirits Council.

The Council reports that while the entire category is growing fast, the higher priced categories are “on fire.”

Since 2002, high-end premium and super premium Irish Whiskeys grew a staggering 1106% and 3385% respectively in the United States.

In 2018, nearly 4.7 million 9-liter cases (+10% compared to 2017) of Irish whiskey were sold in the US, generating an astounding $1 billion (+12% compared to 2017) in revenue for distillers.

It's a similar story in Australia, which is a top ten export market for Irish whiskey and one of the fastest-growing according to the Irish Whiskey Association (IWA). The volume of Irish whiskey exports to Australia increasing by 35% in the first 10 months of 2018 alone.

“This is an exciting time for whiskey hailing from the Emerald Isle,” said Distilled Spirits Council Senior Public Relations Director Maggie Quinn. “The category is on fire. We are experiencing a global whiskey renaissance, and Irish whiskey, with its triple-distilled soft, sweet and smooth flavor profile is captivating US consumers. Further, it has a long and storied heritage as one of the first whiskeys, and that is attractive to Millennials who are always seeking a backstory in their glass.”

Jameson enters Top 10 Premium Spirits Brands In The World

Irish whiskey has another reason to celebrate this week, with Jameson entering the top 10 of IMPACT magazine’s annual ‘Top 100 Premium Spirits Brands Worldwide’ list for the first time ever, after increasing sales 10% to a record 7.5m nine-litre cases in 2018.

Entering the top 10 marks a milestone for the brand, which has added more than 2.5m cases and risen five places in the list over as many years according to IMPACT Databank, which publishes the report each year in collaboration with the international drinks trade media magazine.

Commenting on the report, Conor McQuaid, Chairman and CEO of Irish Distillers, said: “Jameson has been driving the growth of the category for the past 29 years and continues to lead the Irish whiskey renaissance around the world. The release of IMPACT magazine’s Top 100 and Hot Brands lists this year highlights the fact that Jameson now sells more than any Scotch whisky bar Johnnie Walker – further affirming the growing role and importance of Jameson and Irish whiskey on the global spirits stage.

“Jameson is going from strength to strength as whiskey drinkers seek out the smooth taste, approachability and Irish personality of Jameson. In the six months to the end of December 2018, Jameson grew value (+8%) with all regions contributing to this success. Standout regions where we expect future growth to come from included Sub-Saharan Africa, which saw 40% growth (excluding South Africa), and Asia, where India saw 50% growth.

“In addition to the brand reporting double- or triple-digit growth in more than 70 markets across the world, we are also increasingly seeing our super-premium Jameson Black Barrel and Jameson Caskmates whiskeys being selected as the category develops.”

Irish whiskey gains legal protection in Australia

In February, Irish whisky gained protection under Australian law, following ongoing lobbying efforts from the IWA.

It means that decisive action can be taken against fake Irish whiskey products and will ensure consumer confidence in the quality and authenticity of Irish whiskey.

Carleen Madigan, the IWA’s legal advisor, said the move showed a “a major achievement in our efforts to protect the integrity of Irish whiskey in Australia as a significant export market.”

“This registration means Irish whiskey for the first time is protected and defined in Australian law, which will greatly enhance our ability take action against rogue traders. This will ensure Irish whiskey maximises its potential and maintains its growth trajectory.”

It comes almost five years after Australian lawmakers granted trademarks for Scotch whisky to protect consumers and retailers against counterfeiting.

Conor McGregor's Irish whiskey to launch in Australia

Irish boxer Conor McGregor is celebrating St Patrick's Day by launching his Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey in Australia.

The announcement comes just weeks after Proper No. Twelve launched in the United Kingdom. With this launch, the brand is now available in four countries including Ireland and the United States, where the brand has experienced record-breaking demand and sales in just its first six months on the market.

The brand's social media @properwhiskey is already the top spirit handle in the world clocking in at over 577,000 followers on Instagram, featuring exclusive content and videos created by McGregor himself.

"Today marks another great achievement for Proper No. Twelve," McGregor said. "Landing in Australia before St Paddy's Day was my goal given the many thousands of requests we have had there since our Ireland, US and UK launches.

"I appreciate the support from the people of Australia. This is a proper Irish whiskey from a proper Irishman made with Ireland's best spring water, fine golden grain and single malt. It is pure liquid gold."

McGregor added: "Many ask where the name Proper No. Twelve comes from. I was born and bred in the Dublin suburb of Crumlin, Dublin 12 – this is a proper Irish whiskey and being a 'Dublin 12 Man' we named my brand Proper No. Twelve. My success can be traced from the lessons I learned growing up in D12, the values of loyalty and hard work. It is a brand made for all, not the select few. I respect other whiskeys, but we are coming in strong and with purpose. As of today, we have shipped close to 200,000 9-liter cases from the distillery, an incredible level but only the beginning for me and my Proper team!"

McGregor has also committed to donate $5 for every case sold to local first responders and emergency service organizations and charities, up to $1 million annually. The organisations will be identified for each country around the world and donations will go directly to specific countries where sales take give back in a meaningful way.

"First responders and emergency personnel all over the world are the unsung heroes who act with courage and answer the call of duty every day for people in need," said McGregor.

Proximo Spirits is the global distribution partner for Proper No. Twelve. The brand is now available in Ireland, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. Proper No. Twelve is 40% ABV.

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