Report Shows Americans Prefer To Toast St.Patrick’s Day By Raising An Irish Dram

| March 13, 2021

Instead of toasting with a celebratory green beer this year for St. Patrick’s Day, a new report shows that Americans will be raising a dram of premium Irish whiskey, says the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) and Drinks Ireland | Irish Whiskey Association.

According to a report from DISCUS, U.S. consumer interest in the Irish whiskey category is surging, with interest in the Emerald Isle whiskey at an all-time high. Since 2002, high-end premium and super-premium Irish whiskey grew 1,007 percent and 8,728 percent, respectively. In 2020, more than 5.0 million 9-liter cases of Irish whiskey were sold in the United States, generating $1.1 billion in revenues for distillers.

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The complete Spot Irish whiskey line up (image via Irish Distillers/Pernod Ricard)

In the last decade, the use of Irish whiskey in mixed drinks has grown, allowing for higher sales of more premium Irish whiskies.

“The United States remains the largest and most valuable market for Irish whiskey,” Head of Irish Whiskey Association William Lavelle said in a prepared statement. “Over a century on from the start of prohibition, it is worth remembering that Ireland was once the largest supplier of whiskey the US; and now, once again, American consumers are flocking to discover the depth and diversity of Irish whiskey.”

Lavelle also noted that the Irish whiskey industry makes substantial contributions to the U.S. economy with 270,000 used whiskey barrels from Kentucky and Tennessee purchased and re-used in Ireland in 2020.

“It’s an exciting time for whiskey hailing from the Emerald Isle. The growth of Irish whiskey sales in the United States over the past decade has been phenomenal,” added President and CEO of DISCUS Chris Swonger. “Consumers enjoy Irish Whiskey’s lighter, sweeter flavor profile and are captivated by its rich heritage as one of the world’s first whiskeys.”

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The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States is the national trade association representing leading producers and marketers of distilled spirits sold in the United States and Drinks Ireland | Irish Whiskey Association is the trade association of the Irish whiskey industry. Full statistics from DISCUS on this report can be found here.

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Allyson Nichols

Allyson is a recent journalism graduate from Kent State University with a strong passion for writing both entertainment articles and poetry. While spending time with friends, she discovered her love for Jameson through the classic pickleback shot and since then, it has been a staple for every night out. When...