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Issue 108 - Skyrocketing Demand

Whisky Magazine Issue 108
December 2012

 

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Skyrocketing Demand

Davin de Kergommeaux charts the launch of a new Canadian whisky in Taiwan

Waves of applause and echoing cheers greet me as I slide into my taxi. Perhaps I am being mistaken for someone else? I am neither rich nor famous. This must be the radio.

Then I notice that my driver's eyes are riveted to Yani Tseng playing golf on a dash-mounted television. Disconcertingly, his gaze only rarely strays to the road as we race, I hope, in the direction of the hotel.

Somehow I make it to my destination, heart pounding but unscathed. After quickly freshening up I'm in another car heading out in search of whisky. What should I see in this taxi-cab? It's a windshield-mounted video camera faithfully recording every movement on the road in case the driver needs it as evidence when he has his next inevitable fender bender. Welcome to Taipei!

One of whisky's biggest stories these days is skyrocketing demand in Asia. Western whisky lovers may wring their hands as they watch prices rise and formerly abundant brands rationed and re-formulated in a losing race to keep up with burgeoning Asian sales. Get ready whisky lovers: you ain't seen nothin' yet. The Asian culture of talking business over whisky is evolving into the savouring culture of the connoisseur. The result? Demand for top quality whiskies will only continue to expand.

I tour the whisky stores in Taipei to discover huge and favourably priced selections of rare and exclusive Scotch and Japanese single malts, all prominently displayed among legions of well-known brands and blends. Canadian whiskies are a rari...

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