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Study: Irish whiskey cheaper in US than Ireland

An Irish campaign group has claimed that high alcohol tax in Ireland means it is now cheaper to purchase Irish whiskey in the US than in its native market.

It is now cheaper to buy Irish whiskey in the US than in its native homeland, a study has found

Support your Local, a campaign group calling on the government to reverse excise on alcohol in the next Budget, carried out an analysis of Irish whiskey prices in the US compared to Ireland.

According to the pressure group, the same bottle of Irish whiskey retails for the equivalent of €27 in the US and €42 in Ireland.

A recent Eurostat survey found that Ireland is the most expensive place in the EU to buy alcohol – the same €42 bottle of Irish whiskey costs €25 in Germany.

The Irish Whiskey Association says the current rate of alcohol taxation means almost 70% of the cost of a bottle of Irish whiskey goes to the exchequer in excise and VAT.

“Excise is tax on tourism,” said Michael Storan, campaign manager, Support Your Local.

“While Irish whiskey tourism is on the up and expected to grow by over 60% by 2025, visitors may be shocked when they find they can often purchase two bottles of Irish whiskey at home for the price in Ireland. Ultimately, Ireland is the shop-window for Irish whiskey and these high prices driven by high excise, are a worry to the industry.

“Excise also hits Irish whiskey distillers trying to get a foothold in the Irish market. They need a robust home market before they can scale to export the product. At the moment government policy on alcohol excise is simply not allowing this to be a realistic option.”

High-end premium Irish whiskey is seeing explosive growth in the US, with case sales shooting up 589% since 2002, according to Discus figures.

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