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America’s growing taste for Scotch whisky

Scotch whisky
Reuters/David Moir
A rarer sight than it used to be.
Published This article is more than 2 years old.

While some parts of the world have cut down on their single malts and Scotch blends, the US can’t seem to get enough. US Scotch whisky imports jumped 8% last year to a record $1.4 billion. It’s the fifth consecutive year in which Americans shipped in more of the Scottish spirit. In all, the US now drinks more than twice the Scotch it did only eight years back. America’s fast-growing taste for Scotch is good news for Scotland, where shipments amount to $7.2 billion annually, and account for nearly 85% of overall food and drink exports. Especially considering that elsewhere, Scotch isn’t selling quite so well. Global sales slowed considerably, and came in flat last year. Asia, in particular, seems to be losing its taste for the spirit. Imports fell in Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea—the world’s third, seventh, and eight largest markets, respectively—and tumbled by nearly 30% in China, where a crackdown on gift-giving amongst government officials has reduced luxury consumption in general and curbed Scotch sales by some 66%, according to the Scotch Whisky Association.

Scotch whisky can only an analysis last summer in the Economist (registration required).

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