Maybe you cried when you heard about all that Scottish whisky going down the drain, but it sounds like Americans hold Irish whiskey in a very special place in our hearts: Drinkers have swilled enough of the stuff to give it an almost 400% boost in the booze market since 2002. It is much better than the green beer we see St. Patrick’s Day revelers chugging and often depositing into street corner trash cans.
MarketWatch says Irish whiskey is the fastest growing category in the American spirits market with that 400% increase. Even in the last year it’s grown 22.5%, says the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
The fun part about this news, apart from the fun to be had when sipping whiskey, is that it makes for all-new whiskeys. Because while of course the old favorites like Jameson and Tullamore Dew are always going to be cherished, it’s good to liven things up once in a while.
“These are very, very good days for Irish whiskey,” says a marketing director with William Grant & Son, the Scotland-based spirits company behind Tullamore.
So why do we love it so much? Experts say it has room to grow because it features a smoother, sweeter flavor profile than other whiskeys (due to its triple-distillation instead of Scotch’s two rounds of distilling), which means younger drinkers accustomed to vodka and rum might see it as a gateway whiskey.
Another reason whiskey is so popular is a pretty simple one — Americans love their Irish roots, and so drinking Irish whiskey is like fun in a glass while also giving a tip of the hat to a background many treasure. And everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day anyway, right?
More Americans get their Irish up [MarketWatch]