brands report drinks international jameson irish whiskey

Brands Report 2020: Irish whiskey

09 January, 2020

In the bar channel, Irish whiskey might take a back seat to American styles, and even scotch, but few venues don't have a small collection on their back bar.

More than any other brand, Jameson is likely to be one of them. In half of the bars polled, it was found to be the house Irish whiskey and in 80% it was among the top-three sellers.

We shouldn’t be surprised: Jameson makes up a two-thirds share of its category. And, while it has classic status, the Irish Distillers/Pernod Ricard brand keeps things interesting with a bevy of limited editions – the localised initiative, Caskmates, has been a hit in these parts. A quarter of those polled said it was the trending brand too.

Bushmills, our survey suggests, has pulled ahead of the other big blends – Tullamore Dew in particular. The Northern Irish brand was once again found to be a top-three choice in just under half of those polled. If the top two are the a ordable mixing (and occasional shot) whiskies, further down we see a step up in class.

Redbreast, from the Irish Distillers’ stable, is the leader of the single pot still pack – price to one side, you get the feeling this is the bartenders’ choice. In just under a third of cases it's among their top three sellers. Teeling, a blend with a malt leaning, also cult appeal and is in the roster in one out of three bars.

Tullamore Dew, which sells more than 1.3m 9-litre cases worldide, isn't competing in the way you might expect in the word's best bars. The William Grant-owned brand was found to be the house Irish in only a handful of our sample, and a top three seller in less than 20%. Roe & Coe, Diageo's Irish hope, is lurking with intent - this year it has gained a further place - while Dead Rabbit, a partnership between Dublin Liberties and New York's favourite Irish bar, is a new and welcome addition to the list.



The results of this report are the culmination of a questionnaire of 106 bars around the world, each cherry-picked to take part based on their performance in global bar awards. We aim to find out not only which brands sell best but also what’s trending. These two data sets give us an insight into the brands that are doing the most volume and the brands that are hot right now.

To read more on the methodology of the Brands Report click here.

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