Irish whiskey sales soar in USBy Alice Brooker
US consumers bought more than 6.1 million 9-litre cases of Irish whiskey in 2022, generating US$1.4 billion for distillers.
Sales of Irish whiskey in 2022 ‘contributed significantly to record-breaking growth of the US spirits industry’, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the US (Discus) and Irish Whiskey Association (IWA).
Last year marked the first time that US spirits supplier revenues surpassed beer. Irish whiskey emerged as the fourth fastest-growing spirit in both revenue and volume in the US.
“The remarkable growth of Irish whiskey in the US is a testament to the quality and craftsmanship of our distillers,” said William Lavelle, director of the IWA.
In January, the IWA revealed the value of Irish whiskey exports surpassed €1bn (US$1.07bn) for the first time in 2022.
“As the largest and most valuable market for Irish whiskey, we are proud to continue our rich history of supplying America with this iconic spirit,” Lavelle continued.
“It’s exciting to see consumers embrace the premium-and-above expressions of Irish whiskey, and we look forward to further growth in the years ahead.”
In 2022, 300,000 used whiskey barrels from Kentucky and Tennessee were purchased and reused in Ireland, according to Lavelle.
“As consumers continue to trade up to more premium products, Irish whiskey is perfectly positioned to offer them a special experience – on St. Patrick’s Day and beyond,” says Chris Swonger, president and CEO of Discus.
“In just two decades, we’ve seen the high-end premium and super premium segments of Irish whiskey grow a staggering 1,053% and 2,769%, respectively. It’s truly an exciting time for spirits hailing from the Emerald Isle.”
In 2022, the category also fared well from tourism numbers: whiskey tourism in Ireland attracted 677,000 visitors last year, a boost of 425% from ‘staycations’ and tourism from North America.