Why American whiskey is the real winner of St. Patrick's Day
New York CNN —On St. Patrick’s Day, it might seem appropriate to knock back a shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey.
In particular, sales of premium whiskeys from both small and large US distilleries are spurring growth, as customers increasingly treat themselves to a high-quality drink.
“Spirits consumers appreciate the rich heritage, tradition and authenticity of American whiskey,” Lisa Hawkins, senior vice president for public affairs for DISCUS, told CNN.
One of the most recognizable brands is Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey.
Brown-Forman has even expanded its Jack Daniel’s product line to include pricier whiskeys, called Jack Daniel’s Bonded, along with the upcoming US launch of its Jack and Coke canned cocktail.
Another factor in the growth of the American whiskey market is small distilleries that are becoming attractions themselves, where people can sample the whiskey and see how it is made.
“These unique experiences have helped to introduce more consumers to American whiskey and build excitement for both legacy and newer brands in the category,” Hawkins said.
Matt Hofmann, managing director and co-founder of the distillery, told CNN that its sales are “growing faster than ever” following a Covid-induced slowdown.
Westland focuses on making single-malt whiskey that “bridges the gap” between Irish whiskey — which Hofmann describes as “very elegant and approachable” — and American-made whiskeys, which he said are “bolder” in taste.
Whiskey exports grew 30% last year to $1.28 billion, according to DISCUS — a welcome reprieve after retaliatory tariffs were dropped.
American whiskey is the most popular top spirit to be exported, with the European Union being its biggest market.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that Irish whiskey isn’t popular.