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SB’s most-read stories in December

As the year wrapped up, spirits news kept coming, with a huge acquisition becoming one of our most-read stories in December.

december spirits purchase
December was a strong month for Irish whiskey news

The Spirits Business readers were also keen to learn more about key trends from 2023, from Scotch and Irish whiskey to cocktails.

Keep scrolling to discover the biggest stories from December.

Crurated moves into spirits with rare Macallan

Many of you must have been planning some very special last-minute Christmas buys, with news that retail platform Crurated had expanded into rare spirits making our top 10 most-read list in December.

The members-only platform offered a rare Samaroli bottling of The Macallan from 1997 as one of its first spirits listings.

Pernod reveals its first Chinese whisky

Chuan whisky

There was big news for the world whisky category last month, with Pernod Ricard launching its first Chinese whisky and opening its US$150 million Emeishan distillery to the public.

To make The Chuan Pure Malt Whisky, Chinese ingredients have been used, alongside three types of oak. The Chinese oak, which is ‘extremely’ limited, comes from northeast China’s Changbai Mountain.

Bushmills reveals its oldest whiskey

Alex Thomas, master blender, Bushmills

The most-read list moves from a very new whisky to a very old whiskey, with Irish distillery Bushmills releasing a super-limited expression to celebrate Dubai Duty Free’s 40th birthday.

The 44-year-old single malt is the distillery’s oldest whiskey to date, with only 40 bottles available.

World Spirits Report 2023: Irish whiskey

irish whiskey in glasses

December was a big month for Irish whiskey, with another story making the most-read list. As part of The Spirits BusinessWorld Spirits Report, we took a look at key trends in the sector, as well as naming our top three brands to watch in 2024.

Kentucky distillers pay ‘record’ $50m barrel tax

Kentucky Bourbon – Buffalo Trace - barrels

All eyes were on Kentucky as data revealed that taxes on the state’s barrels skyrocketed by nearly a third in 2023 due to increased production costs.

The state remains the only place in the world that taxes ageing barrels of spirits, according to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association (KDA) – however, earlier in 2023, the General Assembly passed a bill to gradually remove the tax.

Bacardi ups stake in Teeling

Teeling Irish whiskey

Bermuda-based Bacardi took majority control of Irish whiskey producer Teeling six years after initially investing in the Dublin-based distiller.

Bacardi did not disclose the percentage of its stake, but Teeling’s founders will continue to own part of the business and run day-to-day operations.

2023’s top trending cocktails revealed

man making cocktail - for Google's Year in Search results, top trending cocktails revealed in December

In December, Google released its Year in Search results and revealed which cocktails people were searching for in 2023.

Classic cocktails like a Gimlet and Sex on the Beach made the list, as well as some less common… a Naked & Famous, anyone?

Beam Suntory to sell Courvoisier to Campari for $1.2bn

Courvoisier VSOP acquired by Campari in December

The biggest acquisition of 2023 came with just two weeks left of the year, and SB readers needed to know all the details.

Beam Suntory exited the Cognac category and sold Courvoisier to Campari Group for a stunning US$1.2 billion, with Campari stating that the agreement was the largest in the group’s history.

World Spirits Report 2023: Scotch whisky

Glass of scotch single malt whisky with fast flowing mountain river on background, Scotland

Another World Spirits Report made our most-read list last month, this time focusing on the Scotch whisky sector, which had a very strong year despite certain challenges.

The UK’s alcohol duty and lack of investment in Scottish transport infrastructure were cited as issues for the category – but sales by both volume and value for the year are up.

Whisky Exchange names Whisky of the Year

Whisky Exchange December whisky of the year

Our top story of the month saw spirits retailer The Whisky Exchange reveal its top whisky for 2024 – Loch Lomond 18 Year Old.

The expression was also recognised with a Gold medal at The Spirits Business’ 2023 Scotch Whisky Masters in the single malts in the Highlands and Islands aged between 13 and 18 years flight.

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