The Tasting Panel magazine

March 2017

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Page 91 of 102

march 2017  /  the tasting panel  /  89 CATEGORY REPORT CATEGORY Luck WE EXPLORE THE WHISKIES ENJOYING SUCCESS IN THIS ESPECIALLY HOT CATEGORY by Emily Coleman W hen producers in our industry talk about opportunities in the marketplace, they almost always start by mentioning emerging markets, and it always seems to begin with China. While these options do present exciting fresh endeavors, it encourages the brands to undervalue the trends happening right here stateside. As American consumers and their palates evolve, certain spirit categories are seeing a resurgence in popu- larity and sales. Irish whiskey is one such category. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), during 2016 in the U.S., Irish whiskey experienced a 19.8 percent jump in sales, translating to $795 million. The companies already in this space are reaping the benefits, and new brands are looking to get a slice of this expanding pie. As more resources come into the cat- egory, more money is being invested back into the distilling facilities and the product, which means better whiskey across the board. It's an exciting time to be both an Irish whiskey brand and a connoisseur, but the number of offerings popping up can make one's head spin. To help you navigate the choices, we chose some expressions— some classic, some brand new—that will have your customers saying, "Sláinte!" of the Irish

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