IWA hails “big weekend” for Irish whiskey

The 24th operational whiskey distillery in Ireland opened its doors last week

Approximately five million bottles of Irish whiskey were sold worldwide in the week leading up to St. Patrick's Day. That's according to new research and estimates by the Irish Whiskey Association, which attributes the sales boost to the ongoing renaissance in the sector.



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19 March 2019

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The weekend of St. Patrick’s Day was a busy one for the producers and distillers at Killowen Distillery in Co. Down, which came online as the 24th operational whiskey distillery on the island. The Irish Whiskey Association (IWA) extended its congratulations to the team there including owner Brendan Carty.

To mark St. Patrick’s Day, the association also published an infographic highlighting the ongoing sales boost Irish whiskey is experiencing worldwide. An estimated 5m bottles were sold in the lead-up to 17 March, across 135 consumer markets.

According to new stats by the CSO, the export of Irish drinks overall was up by 8%, while the value of Irish whiskey exports increased by 13% – from €578.78 million in 2017 to €654 million in 2018.

William Lavelle, head of the Irish Whiskey Association, noted that  St. Patrick’s Day is one of the busiest weeks worldwide for sales of Irish whiskey. “We expect global consumers will have purchased about five million bottles of whiskey this week,” he said. “We wish a Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all Irish whiskey lovers around the world.

“The Irish Central Statistics Office earlier this week published final export data for 2018,” Lavelle added, “showing that €654 million* worth of Irish whiskey products were exported from the Republic of Ireland last year.

“This marked an increase of 13%,” he  said, “which confirms that the Irish whiskey renaissance shows no signs of abating.”

The United States, Canada, Russia, Germany, The Czech Republic, South Africa and Australia were among the fastest growing markets in 2018 according to the CSO.

Meanwhile, more than a dozen IWA members have attended ProWein this week, one of the largest spirit trade shows in the world. The trade show runs from 17-19 March, with Irish participants in the show supported by Bord Bia.

At the event, Teeling Whiskey Company showcased its new Dublin-distilled ‘Single Pot Still Batch Two’ and many other new collaborations; Dingle Distillery also previewed its new ‘Batch No.4 Single Malt’ at ProWein. This new Irish whiskey will officially launch and be available to purchase on 4 April.

*(distillery-gate prices, not final retail price)



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