Holding its position in top spot for another year, Jack Daniel’s still significantly outsells the next most popular whisky, Famous Grouse, according to CGA data – with its sales value almost twice as high as the second placed Scotch.
Interestingly, only three brands listed in this year’s top 10 saw increases to both volume and value in 2019 with fourth-placed Irish whiskey Jameson seeing respective 8.7% and 11.2% boosts. What’s more, ninth-placed Maker’s Mark Kentucky Bourbon saw value sales increase by 12% year on year, with volume climbing by 6.4%.
Elsewhere, third-placed Bell’s saw sales value for the past year hit to the tune of £13.2m – with its 14.7% drop in volume the largest in the category – while Whyte & Mackay’s value fell by 16.7%.
According to Diageo’s leading whisky blender, Emma Walker, the category should look to the success of gin for inspiration as drink makers look to reinvent the ailing category and increase its popularity among a new generation of consumers.
Speaking at The Morning Advertiser’s inaugural Drink Tank conference in London, Walker added that increasing diversity in the male-dominated category could offer a solution to whisky’s woes.
“Men don't get asked what it's like to be a man working in whisky,” she said. “We need to get better at talking about women in whisky. However, we have a gender balance in the team. Each person has been picked because of their skills and experience.
“There’s almost a perception externally that whisky is determined by men and this is partly our own making.
However, according to figures from The UK Whisky Yearbook report, from Edrington-Beam Suntory, whisky will return to growth and will be worth £2.44bn by 2022 – up from £2.31bn in 2018.
The past 12 months have also seen Birmingham bar and restaurant operator the Wilderness and London’s Sacred Spirits distillery reject Brexit’s divisive spirit to create limited-edition blended whisky, The Brexit Blend, while the Dark Spirits Bar in Liverpool began selling a whisky so rare it costs almost £1,000 per measure.
The Famous Grouse
Johnny Walker Black Label 12 Yrs
Whyte & Mackay
Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey
Johnny Walker Red Label
Maker's Mark Kentucky Bourbon