Close Menu
Top 10

SB’s most read stories of 2020

Hard seltzers, celebrity-backed Tequila brands and Johnnie Walker bottlings were among the stories that drew the most attention last year. Here, we count down our most read online articles of 2020.

Teremana Tequila’s bottle design was one of our most read stories of 2020

While the biggest stories in the spirits sector featured punitive tariffs, multi-million-dollar fines and auction records, it was trending categories such as Tequila, Japanese whisky and hard seltzers that made our list of most read stories online last year.

Among some of the articles that missed out on a top 10 spot were rock band Kiss’ debut in the spirits industry with a new rum, and a Christmas tree made of empty Jameson bottles.

Looking at our statistics from 1 January 2020, we present the stories that drew the most clicks last year.

Click through the following pages to discover the top 10 most read stories on in 2020.

10. Nikka to discontinue Taketsuru Japanese whiskies

Japanese whisky fans were saddened by Nikka’s move to discontinue its Taketsuru whiskies at the start of 2020.

The Asahi Breweries-owned Japanese whisky maker said it planned to delist Taketsuru Pure Malt 17-, 21- and 25-year-old whiskies in all markets by March 2020.

Furthermore, the producer revealed it will replace its no-age-statement Taketsuru Pure Malt with a new expression.

To read the story in full, click here.

9. White Claw Hard Seltzer to launch in Australia

The growing trend for hard seltzers continued to dominate the spirits sector in 2020.

Category giant White Claw launched in the Australian market in October through a partnership with Australasian food and beverage marketing company Lion.

The deal, described as a “significant step forward” for Lion in the seltzer category, will see the company import, market and distribute White Claw in Australia.

The agreement came just weeks after White Claw announced plans to launch in the UK from 1 June 2020.

To read the story in full, click here.

8. Murray gives Canadian rye top spot in Whisky Bible 

Often popular with whisky fans is Jim Murray’s annual Whisky Bible, which reveals the bottlings that have secured top marks across categories such as blended Scotch, Japanese and European.

For the latest edition, Murray named Beam Suntory’s Canadian bottling Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye World Whisky of the Year.

However, just days after the book was published in September, it was removed from store shelves following backlash surrounding “sexist and vulgar” language used to describe whiskies in the book.

Companies such as Beam Suntory, Irish Distillers and William Grant & Sons also distanced themselves from the book.

To read the story in full, click here.

7. Diageo debuts new Jane Walker bottling

In March 2020, Diageo released a new Jane Walker by Johnnie Walker bottling, following the launch of the 2018 release.

The new blend is made with liquid from Speyside distillery Cardhu. Diageo said Elizabeth Cumming, who owned the Cardhu distillery during the late 19th century, “played a significant role in the brand’s history”.

The launch of new whiskey, alongside a new Bulleit Bourbon, coincided with the debut of Diageo’s Craftswomen programme. The initiative aims to celebrate the “talented, bold and pioneering women” behind the firm’s spirits production.

To read the story in full, click here.

6. Johnnie Walker unveils trio of limited edition bottles


Johnnie Walker once again attracted the attention of our readers with the launch of a new trio of whiskies.

The blended Scotch created three limited edition bottles for its Red Label, Black Label and Gold Label Reserve expressions to celebrate the brand’s 200th birthday in 2020.

Each bottle was named after the colour of its slanted label, but this has now been upgraded to an opaque wrap for the limited edition designs.

To read the story in full, click here.

5. Lebron James backs Lobos 1707 Tequila

As celebrity endorsements in Tequila continued to make headlines in 2020, it was one of the category’s latest entrant who stole the show in November.

Basketball player Lebron James invested in Tequila and mezcal brand Lobos 1707 with his business partner and friend Maverick Carter. The brand was founded by Diego Osorio, chief creative officer, and CEO Dia Simms, who has worked with brands such as Deleón Tequila and Cîroc Vodka.

Available in Mexico and the US, the Lobos 1707 range comprises an extra añejo, reposado, joven and mezcal artesanal.

To read the story in full, click here.

4. Johnnie Walker creates 200th birthday bottlings

The third and final appearance from Johnnie Walker on our most read list was another release of new bottlings for the brand’s 200th anniversary.

To mark the occasion, the brand unveiled four new whiskies: Johnnie Walker Blue Label 200th Anniversary Limited Edition Design, Johnnie Walker Blue Label Legendary Eight, John Walker & Sons Celebratory Blend and John Walker & Sons Bicentenary Blend.

The whiskies were inspired by the moment when the brand’s founder John Walker opened a small grocery store in Scotland in 1820.

To read the story in full, click here.

3. Whisky made in 2020 ‘most valuable in history’

One of our most popular online stories was a prediction by cask whisky investment company Whiskey and Wealth Club that claimed casks of whisky produced in 2020 would be highly valuable in the coming decades.

The firm said the decline in production due to the Covid-19 pandemic means the value of whisky produced in 2020 will ‘become increasingly rarer in the years to come’.

The company also claimed that it is important to buy this whisky from a well-known brand and said the longer the owner waits to sell it, the more it will be worth.

To read the story in full, click here.

2. The Rock reveals Teremana Tequila bottle design


Another celebrity-backed Tequila brand drew a high number of clicks last year, this time the debut of the bottle design from The Rock’s Teremana brand.

Actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson took to Instagram to unveil the design to his fans at the start of last year.

Teremana Tequila was developed by Siete Bucks Spirits, established by founder Johnson, co-founder Dany Garcia, co-founder Jenna Fagnan and co-founder Ken Austin.

At the end of 2020, Johnson said Teremana Tequila was on track to sell 300,000 cases in its first year.

To read the story in full, click here.

1. ‘Roaring 20s’ will return post-pandemic, analyst predicts

Alcohol-cocktails-celebration-WEB (1)

It was one of our final stories of 2020 that stole the top spot in our most read roundup.

Speaking to The Spirits Business in 2020 as part of the World Spirits Report, Spiros Malandrakis, head of research – alcoholic drinks, Euromonitor International, said the industry should be under no illusion that it will take a long time to recover from the impact of Covid-19.

Malandrakis believes there will be a second ‘Roaring 20s’ with trade to recover sooner than 2024 (IWSR’s prediction), and forecasts a party era as revellers celebrate freedom following months of lockdowns to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

To read the story in full, click here.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No