'The Spirits Business' published an odd and oddly interesting list earlier this week. They call it 'Top 10 Best Selling World Whisky Brands,' but a clearer title would be 'Top 10 Best Selling Whisky Brands that Aren't Scotch.'
As it happens, the list consists of whiskeys from the United States, Canada, Ireland, and Japan. The United States leads the medal count with four. Canada has three, Japan has two, Ireland has one. Three of the four Americans are straight whiskey. Everything else on the list is a blend. Beam Suntory has three of its brands included, Diageo has two. No other company has more than one.
That's one of the ways this list is strangely skewed. Put scotches back in and Diageo would win by a mile. Take them out and Beam Suntory's US/Asia axis beats Diageo's US/Europe orientation, a sign of things to come perhaps.
The list is based on 2014 sales volume. It ranges from just under two million cases to almost twelve million, an extraordinarily wide range. That's because Jack Daniel's so dominates a list configured in this way, at 11.7 million 2014 cases, compared to 7.4 million for number two Jim Beam. Take Daniel's out of the mix and the volumes are much more tightly bunched.
Here's the list:
- Jack Daniel's
- Jim Beam
- Crown Royal
- Suntory Kakubin
- Seagrams Seven
- Black Nikka
- Black Velvet
- Canadian Club
- Evan Williams
The point of the list? Hard to tell, except that there are certainly many in the international drinks community who are prepared to imagine a world without scotch.