Whisky Magazine Issue 75
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Kate Portman looks at how blended Scotch is making an impact across the globe from beach parties to trendy bars.
From the chilled-out beach bars of Brazil to the nightclubs of buzzing Beijing, blended Scotch is the global spirit of choice being liberally poured in some of the world's most dynamic hotspots and enjoyed in a diverse number of ways too.
Despite gloomy conditions in Western Europe, the raging thirst for blended Scotch elsewhere around the world is leading the whisky industry to forecast a sunny outlook and raise production to levels not seen since the 1960s. According to the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), blended Scotch shipments accounted for 82 per cent of the value of total exports in 2007.
“The equivalent of more than one billion bottles of blended Scotch was exported from Scotland, in a record year for both the value and volume of shipments,” says the SWA's David Williamson.
Blended whisky's growth shows the greatest potential in countries with burgeoning economies and massive populations. Large numbers of affluent middle class consumers are emerging who are attracted to the foreign allure of whisky as a luxury and a lifestyle statement to announce they've arrived. So who's drinking what and where?
Latin America is one big territory enamoured with Scotch – the city of Recife to the northeast of Brazil is said to have the highest per capita consumption rate for whisky in the world. Teacher's is one of the blends thriving here. “Brazil has a casual drinking culture so it's about community socialising and enjoying whisky long on the beach,” reveals Michael ...