Top 10 Countries with the Highest Scotch Consumption

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Scotch Consumption

**Top 10 Countries with the Highest Scotch Consumption**

Last year, it is estimated that 1.38 billion bottles of Scotch whisky were exported worldwide – here are the top 10 markets for the spirit in terms of volume.

According to the Scotch Whisky Association, 61.2% of this volume consisted of blended whisky, while 10.2% was single malt. In terms of value, blends accounted for 56.7%, and single malts made up 33.8%.

In 2020, 36 bottles of Scotch whisky were exported per second, while in 2021, this increased to 44 bottles per second. This surge in demand can be attributed to the reopening of trade channels.

Note: The following data is measured based on estimated bottle count for a 70-centiliter bottle.

1) **France – 176 million bottles**

France, the second most valuable Scotch market (worth £386.6 million last year), is known for its affinity for the spirit. The 176 million bottles imported last year represent approximately two and a half liters per adult. Despite concerns that this long-standing love affair may be cooling as consumers prefer locally distilled beverages, the 2021 volume was actually over 1% higher than 2019.

2) **India – 136 million bottles**

India, still only the eighth most valuable market for Scotch, exceeded pre-pandemic levels by over 4% and astonishingly surpassed 2020 volume by 44%. This inconsistency is likely due to the controversial 150% basic customs duty on each bottle, a disputed issue between United Spirits (Diageo’s Indian arm) and several Indian authorities.

3) **United States – 126 million bottles**

Trade in alcoholic beverages across the Atlantic was severely disrupted by the (now resolved) tariff dispute between Europe and the US. While the 2021 Scotch volume exported to the US was only 1% below 2019 levels, the value of these exports fell by 26% to £789.8 million over these two years. Despite this dramatic decline, the US remained the most valuable market for Scotch.

4) **Brazil – 82 million bottles**

Brazil has more than just cachaça in its spirits consumption – Scotch whisky is experiencing a boom in the Latin American country. Indeed, the volume exported in 2021 was 91% higher than in 2019, the largest increase for any country on this list. According to Whiskey Invest Direct, 95% of the Scotch market in Brazil consists of bottled blends, with the drink being particularly popular in the northeast of the country and less consumed as a status symbol in the central and southern regions.

5) **Japan – 56 million bottles**

While Japan produces its high-quality whiskey, it has historically been a strong market for Scotch goods. However, some of the demand may be due to questionable practices among some distillers in purchasing Scotch whisky and blending it with a Japanese product. However, new laws enacted in April 2021 mean that beverages made in this way cannot be labeled as ‘Japanese whisky’.

6) **Spain – 48 million bottles**

The volume of Scotch exported to Spain last year was just under 15% below 2019 levels, indicating that consumers were slow to adapt to the reopening of trade channels. This lockdown phenomenon of reduced alcohol consumption was also evident in predictions for Spanish wine consumption.

7) **Mexico – 48 million bottles**

Scotch sales in Mexico have fluctuated in recent years, with a noticeable dip caused by the lockdowns’ impact on commercial sales, but the spirit ultimately rebounded strongly. Towards the end of 2020, the UK-Mexico Alcoholic Beverages Agreement provided further protection for Scotch in one of its biggest markets.

8) **Germany – 46 million bottles**

While whisky is unquestionably best enjoyed with a splash of water, the marketing value of Scotch whisky is something the industry is unwilling to dilute: earlier this year, a German distillery using the term ‘Glen’ in one of its product names was ruled against.

9) **Poland – 45 million bottles**

Approximately 7% of the country’s alcoholic beverage market consists of Scotch, and while this pales in comparison to vodka’s 70% share, it is still a sign that whiskey is on the rise in Poland, with a 37% increase in volume exported between 2019 and 2021 confirming this.

10) **Russia – 42 million bottles**

Whisky exports to Russia have been on the rise in recent years, and the 2021 sales volume was 61% higher than pre-pandemic levels. However, recent events such as the invasion of Ukraine and subsequent trade sanctions may mean that this upward trajectory is dizzying.

*Top 10 Countries with the Highest Scotch Consumption*