World's 50 Best Bars Brands Report: Scotch

31 January, 2014

For the latest instalment of the 2014 Brands Report, we quizzed the class of 2013 on the Scotch brands moving through their bars.

We polled 100 of the top 250 bars that our academy voted for in The World’s 50 Best Bars 2013 survey.

We asked which are the best sellers and which brands are catching the imaginations of consumers for the trending list.

Don't forget to check out the results for ginvodka, rumtequila and liqueurs/bitters.


The big blends top the best selling brands list – reminding us of their truly global reach. Meanwhile, William Grant’s Monkey Shoulder has been chipping away at the scene since the brand’s inception in 2005.

It looks different to most Scotch bottles and its approach to marketing has been different too. The whisky is made up of three malts from three Speyside distilleries and you can often find it being mixed into cocktails in a treehouse at a festival. You wouldn’t catch some of the more traditional Scotch brands letting hipsters graffiti T-shirts in a treehouse. 

The Macallan has long been making waves in Asia and Dewar’s is well-versed in world travel thanks to parent company Bacardi.

Talisker and Ardbeg have developed something of a cult following and Talisker’s remote distillery on the Isle of Skye is the busiest in Diageo’s single malt portfolio – some 60,000 people made the trip in 2012


Peated whisky continues to be on-trend as far as this report is concerned. Last year, Laphroaig, Ardbeg and Lagaluvin were on the list and the same three Islay single malts are back again this year. Indeed, Laphroaig has moved from number three to number one.

Talisker is also a peaty number, though not as peaty as its Islay friends. These whiskies have big personalities and they tend to attract big personalities – like those in the bar industry, perhaps. 

It will be interesting to see how The Macallan progresses after parent company Edrington announced a £100 million boost late last year (2013). The company said the creation of a “site of major architectural significance” in Speyside would include a new distillery at Craigellachie to create extra capacity to meet growing demand. 

Glenfiddich – the world’s leading single malt in 2012 and the only one to surpass the one million case mark – is a stalwart on the list. The only brand coming close is The Glenlivet with 968,000 cases in 2012, though strangely it has never appeared on either the best selling or the trending list of the World’s 50 Best Bars brands report. There’s always next year. 

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