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Single Malt Scotch To Reach 2 Million Cases In The U.S. This Year

June 1, 2022

After the pandemic and higher tariffs caused a decline in 2020 for the first time in nearly 30 years, single malt Scotch whisky depletions bounced back with a double-digit increase last year, according to Impact Databank, and are on track to exceed 2 million cases in the U.S. for the first time ever in 2022.

The continuing recovery of the on-premise sector is the primary reason for the upturn in momentum, as Americans continue to choose upscale spirits.Single malts have been the main growth driver for Scotch whisky in the U.S. for decades, and after the 2020 hiccup they rebounded to account for more than a quarter of total Scotch whisky volume and well over half of the sector’s value last year, according to Impact Databank. The U.S. is the world’s largest market for single malt, ahead of the domestic U.K. market and the overall Scotch whisky leader, France. Including blended malts and single grain whiskies, total shipments of single malt Scotch to the U.S. advanced 12.6% by volume in 2021, according to the Scotch Whisky Association.

By year-end, single malt consumption in the U.S. will have more than doubled since 2010, according to Impact Databank. Five of the market’s six largest-selling brands registered declines in 2020, but all bounced back nicely last year. Only three blended Scotch whiskies in the U.S. (Johnnie Walker, Dewar’s, and Buchanan’s) sell more cases than the single malt leader—Pernod Ricard’s The Glenlivet—while Edrington’s The Macallan posted the most impressive growth among the major labels last year.

Beyond the top six, double-digit gains were also registered in 2021 by Moët Hennessy’s Ardbeg, Bacardi’s Aberfeldy, Diageo’s Talisker, Rémy Cointreau’s Bruichladdich, Edrington’s Glenrothes, Brown-Forman’s Glendronach and Benriach, and The Dalmore (marketed by Spirit of Gallo).—Juan Banaag

Single Malt Scotch—Top Six Brands in the U.S.
(thousands of 9-liter case depletions)
Rank Brand Company 2020 2021 Percent
Change1
1 The Glenlivet Pernod Ricard USA 468 527 12.5%
2 The Macallan Edrington Americas 209 267 27.4%
3 Glenfiddich William Grant & Sons USA 185 203 9.6%
4 Glenmorangie Moët-Hennessy USA 137 150 9.6%
5 The Balvenie William Grant & Sons USA 111 100 -9.9%
6 Laphroaig Beam Suntory Inc. 69 72 5.0%
Total Top Six2 1,179 1,318 11.8%
1 Based on unrounded data.
2 Addition of columns may not agree due to rounding.
Source: IMPACT DATABANK © 2022

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