Irish Whiskey Market Thrives in United States

Step aside, green beer.  This St. Patrick’s Day, Americans will be celebrating with a dram of super premium Irish Whiskey, 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 1,106 percent and 3,385 percent, respectively.

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

“This is an exciting time for whiskey hailing from the Emerald Isle. The category is on fire,” said Distilled Spirits Council Senior Public Relations Director Maggie Quinn. “We are experiencing a global whiskey renaissance, and Irish Whiskey, with its triple-distilled soft, sweet and smooth flavor profile is captivating U.S. 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.”

Irish Whiskey’s smooth profile makes it particularly appealing to adult consumers who are new to the whiskey category. Alongside approachability, the unique and versatile flavor of Irish Whiskey allows it to be enjoyed neat or in a cocktail. Leading mixologists across the country have showcased the spirit in their innovative and artisan cocktail menus.

The Council, along with Irish Consul General Ciarán Madden and the Irish Whiskey Association, hosted a tasting event for top media and influencers at the Irish Consulate in New York. It featured the following member company brands: Teeling (Bacardi); Kilbeggan (Beam Suntory); Slane (Brown-Forman); Baileys (Diageo); Ballyhoo, Spade & Bushel (Millstone Group); Jameson (Pernod Ricard).