UK whiskies hit record sales

Whisky consumption is down in the United Kingdom, but that's not of much concern for UK distillers.

The reason: Demand is on the rise worldwide, so export volume is at a record high, according to figures released this week by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA).

Exports rose by 4% in value, reaching a high of nearly $4.9 billion, topping the previous high of $4.7 billion set in 1997. Scotch whisky now makes up a quarter of UK food and drinks exports, says the SWA.

Blended whisky accounted for the bulk of global exports at $3.7 billion, while malt exports grew 7% to $803 million.

"I'm greatly encouraged that distillers, large and small, are investing in facilities in Scotland and taking advantage of opportunities worldwide, with markets in Asia, North and South America offering strong potential for growth," said SWA Chairman Richard Burrows, adding:

"To support the industry's international competitiveness, the SWA is continuing to press the case for new legislation that will improve both the legal protection of Scotch whisky from unfair competition and help promote the positive reputation of Scotch to consumers around the world."

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