Thursday, October 1, 2020

Ethanol: "Dozens of Distilleries Are Betting That Irish Whiskey Has a Future Bigger Than Jameson"

From Vinepair:
No spirits category is dominated so completely by one brand as Irish whiskey is by Jameson. Yet that may soon change. Irish whiskey is one of the fastest-growing spirits categories in the U.S., according to drinks market analyst IWSR. Over the past five years, volume sales increased at a 13.4 percent compound annual growth rate. IWSR forecasts the category will continue to grow in the coming years.
To give the category a sense of context, the Irish whisky category is about half the size of Scotch in the U.S. Nearly 4.9 million 9-liter cases of Irish whiskey were sold stateside in 2019, generating $1.1 billion in revenues for distillers, according to data from the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS). In comparison, 9.5 million 9-liter cases of Scotch whiskey were sold in the U.S. last year, driving revenues of up to $2.4 billion.

The major returns on this healthy sales growth continue to be enjoyed mainly by Jameson. In 2019, the Pernod Ricard-owned triple-distilled whiskey enjoyed an 80 percent market share of the Irish whiskey category in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.

But things are changing in Ireland. In the past 10 years, the number of distilleries operating in the country increased eight-fold. Far from trying to imitate the style that’s brought Jameson such success, those distilleries are embracing historical styles and leaning into uniquely Irish distilling techniques. Their bottles offer higher-end alternatives within the Irish whiskey category, at a time of increased premiumization within all spirits categories.
If ever there was a time for Irish whiskey to outgrow its one-brand reputation, it is now. So how can Irish whiskey producers achieve this?

The Irish Distillery Boom

In 2010, there were only four distilleries in Ireland producing and selling Irish whiskey. By December 2019, the number of operational distilleries had increased to 32, according to the Irish Whiskey Association (IWA).
This renaissance has been the defining story of Irish whiskey over the past decade. The ability of these distilleries, and the dozen or so others that are still in the planning or construction stages, to operate profitably will surely be the factor that proves whether  Irish whiskey can continue to grow as a category.

But such rapid expansion also suggests that judging Irish whiskey’s potential based on current sales data is a somewhat flawed science. By law, all Irish whiskey must age for at least three years before release. Many newer producers may wish to release longer-aged, more premium offerings. Given that more than half of Ireland’s current distilleries began their operations in 2015 or later, we have yet to experience their real impact on the sector. And it’s in the premium-plus price segment where those that have already come to market have had the biggest impact....

And in outher news from Ireland, from The
Subway sandwiches contain 'too much sugar' to legally be considered bread, Supreme Court rules

The sugar is equal to 10% of the weight of the flour which probably caramelizes nicely but puts the stuff near the range of confections