The biggest spirits stories of 2018

11th January, 2019 by Nicola Carruthers

Jaw-dropping auction prices, ambitious expansion plans and punitive Bourbon tariffs made for a dramatic year in the spirits world – we look back at the biggest stories to shake the sector in 2018.

It’s been an eventful year for the spirits world

Last year, the US found itself embroiled in numerous trade wars, which began in March when US president Donald Trump revealed plans to impose a 25% import duty on steel and a 10% import duty on aluminium.

The UK also hit headlines with the Brexit vote in 2016 – a move which has continued to cause much anguish in 2018.

However, not all news was bad for the industry. Tequila is making waves in the spirits world, with Bacardi’s purchase of ultra-premium Tequila brand Patrón – in a deal worth US$5.1 billion – becoming one of the most talked-about acquisitions of the year.

In the whisk(e)y world, producers are also making significant investments. Jameson producer Irish Distillers announced plans to invest €150 million (US$173.7m) in its Midleton Distillery, maturation site and bottling plant, while Diageo has pledged £150 million (US$215m) on an extensive upgrade of its Scottish visitor centres.

Click through the following pages to discover our pick of the top 10 biggest spirits stories of 2018, in no particular order. 

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