Demand for Irish whiskey soared by 11.2% in 2016, according to new figures published by International Wine and Spirits Research – making Irish whiskey the fastest growing spirits sector.
“Irish whiskey is experiencing exceptional growth around the world with almost 200 bottles being sold every minute. The leap in sales over the last year is a testament to the quality and craftsmanship of Irish whiskey distilleries around the island,” said William Lavelle, Head of the Irish Whiskey Association.
“The US is our most valuable market both in terms of exports and attracting Irish whiskey tourists. Volumes grew by 17.6% last year in the US alone, with sales reaching a record 104 million bottles.”
“Already Irish whiskey accounts for more than one-third of Irish beverage exports and these figures put Irish whiskey well on track to meet its ambitious export target of 144 million bottles by 2020 and 288 million bottles by 2030.”
Irish whiskey sales grew in 17 of its leading markets with the US, Ireland, France, the UK and South Africa leading global sales.
The growth in Irish whiskey’s reputation is also expected to encourage more whiskey enthusiasts to travel to Ireland to witness first hand how the spirit is made.
1.9m visitors are expected to visit Irish distilleries by 2025, spending an estimated €1.3bn during their stay in Ireland.