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Brand Champion

World Whisky Brand Champion 2017: Tullamore Dew

William Grant & Sons’s Tullamore Dew broke the one million case sales marker in 2017

Can anything stop the Irish whiskey wave? With exports up by 8% in 2016 and predicted to double by 2020, whiskey from the Emerald Isle is captivating taste buds the world over – especially in the US, where value sales soared by 19.8% to US$795 million in the 2016 calendar year.

Irish Distillers’s Jameson has long dominated the category. But with 32 new or proposed distilleries in the pipeline, will this still be the case in the decades to come? If the brand is looking over its shoulder it’s surely at William Grant & Sons’s Tullamore Dew, which is gradually gaining ground. Jameson still dominates with 6.24 million nine­litre case sales. But Tullamore Dew has crossed the million mark for the first time on volume gains of 7.22%.

“We are delighted to have broken the one million case threshold,” said Alison Hunter, global marketing manager, Tullamore Dew. “We have been building momentum since we relaunched in 2011 with new packaging and compelling positioning. We have developed strong routes to market in our key territories. We have also developed our key signature serve, the Dew and a Brew, which is gaining real traction.”

The US market is, unsurprisingly, one of the catalysts for growth, but the Czech Republic and Germany, as well as Russia, Poland and South Africa, are all propelling development. And the Tullamore Distillery, which officially opened in 2014, looks set to cement progress.

“Ultimately, we will produce from grain to glass at our state­of­the­ art Tullamore Distillery, technically making us a ‘single blend’,” Hunter said. “This is fantastic because it confirms our authenticity, heritage and quality. In the short term we can enjoy more experimentation with cask finishes. Our first whiskey from the new distillery will come of age this year, although most will be matured for longer.”

More widely across world whisk(e)y, American producers almost universally enjoyed growth, while Canadian distillers faced more mixed fortunes. Most surprising is the performance of last year’s Brand Champion, Suntory Kakubin, which saw its first decline for five years, slipping by 9.12%.

See the adjacent column to discover the spirits that sold more than 1m cases last year, as well as The Brand Champions 2017 of each individual category.

World whisk(e)y (Figures: million 9l case sales)

BRAND OWNER 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 %+/­-
American whiskey
Jack Daniel’s Brown­Forman 10.95 11.50 11.70 12.21 12.49 2.26%
Jim Beam Beam Suntory 6.30 6.89 7.37 7.35 8.03 9.18%
Evan Williams Heaven Hill 1.43 1.65 1.87 2.14 2.29 7.00%
Seagram’s 7 Crown Diageo 2.40 2.40 2.40 2.00 1.90 -5.00%
Maker’s Mark Beam Suntory 1.30 1.44 1.49 1.62 1.74 7.59%
Wild Turkey (incl American Honey) Gruppo Campari 1.25 1.35 1.35 1.43 1.47 2.80%
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Brown­Forman 0.66 0.96 1.28 1.45 1.51 4.07%
Irish whiskey
Jameson Pernod Ricard 4.09 4.64 4.93 5.34 6.24 16.85%
Tullamore Dew Willliam Grant & Sons 0.76 0.86 0.90 0.97 1.04 7.22%
Canadian whisky
Crown Royal Diageo 5.20 5.50 5.30 6.20 6.80 9.68%
Canadian Club Beam Suntory 1.90 1.89 1.89 1.94 2.02 4.33%
Black Velvet Constellation Brands 2.01 1.96 2.06 2.02 1.97 -2.48%
Canadian Mist Brown­Forman 1.62 1.57 1.52 1.38 1.25 -9.28%
Japanese whisky
Suntory Kakubin Suntory Spirits 2.80 2.90 3.19 3.62 3.29 -9.12%
Black Nikka Asahi Breweries 1.80 1.80 2.00 2.40 2.70 12.50%

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