France takes top spot on world whisky-drinking table

French drinkers now lead the world in their whisky consumption, according to a new report by retail consultants Bonial.

The French drink an average of 2.15 litres of whisky a year, considerably more than the second-place country, Uruguay, with 1.8 litres per year.

The US is third, on 1.4 litres while the UK languishes in seventh, on 1.25 litres, just ahead of Ireland and India on 1.24 litres.

The other leading whisky-producing country, Japan, ranks 16th on 0.78 litres per person.

Data from the French Federation of Spirits used in the report shows that whisky consumption accounted for 38.7% of all spirits drunk in France in 2014.

The volume of whisky drunk in France in 2014 was equivalent to 45 Olympic swimming pools, Bonial said.

Pastis is the second most popular spirit, with 25.5%, with vodka in third place on 7.8% and white rum on fourth on 6.3%.

Gin accounted for just 1.3% of spirit consumption, with traditional French spirits such as Eaux-de-vie, Calvados and Armagnac languishing even further behind, on 0.5%, 0.3% and 0.2% respectively.

The three most popular whisky brands in the French market are Jack Daniel’s, Ballantine’s and Clan Campbell.

Ballantine’s and Clan Campbell are both owned and distributed by French spirits giant, Pernod Ricard.

Scotch accounts for 90% of French whisky consumption at present, although the size of the domestic market is becoming increasingly attractive to distillers in France.

Nicolas Julhès, head of the Distillerie de Paris, said: “Within 15 years the world’s best whiskies will be French.

“We will be able to stop copying the Scots to bring a real French style. We have the greatest specialists on ageing [alcohol] who have always worked in wine and cognac.”

France produces nearly 700,000 bottles of whisky a year.

Scotland currently exports close to 1.2 billion bottles annually.

 

 

Have your say

These comments have not been moderated.

You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions "Participating in Online Communities". These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment.

Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments.

If you wish to complain about a comment please use the "report this post" button or email harpers.editorial@wrbm.com.

Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory
Mandatory
Sign in

Newsletter Sign-up

I wish to receive the following newsletters:

Subscriber only alerts:

Twitter Facebook YouTube Linkedin