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OpinionWhisky Trends in 2020

January 21, 2020by Brendan Waller0
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If previous years are any indicator, 2020 is going to be a big year for whisky. It’s only going to continue to grow in the spirit sector as it has over the last decade. While that’s not surprising, there are some new trends emerging in the world of whisky that you’re bound to notice.

More Accessibility

For quite some time, whisky was seen as the older gentleman’s spirit. Our personal hope is that 2020 will also further do away with the male-focused stigma around our favourite brown spirit. Let 2020 be the rise and recognition of women who love whiskies.

Distilleries though have recognized that attracting a new generation of legal-aged drinkers is imperative to keeping production rolling. Whisky can be intimidating to delve into which is why you’ll see many producers making beginner-friendly bottles that retain some complexity while being more approachable, both in flavour and price.

More Demand for Scotch Rye

Rye whisky has become popular again in the US, and Scotch whisky producers are following suit, trying to work with the tricky grain to develop new concoctions. Johnnie Walker released a rye cask maturation, inspiring Scottish brands like Bruichladdich to have a go at it. The results are splendid examples of how far-reaching the appeal of rye whisky goes.

Brand New Micro-Distilleries

Remember the days before craft beers and microbreweries popped up? Dark ages! Now the same boom is happening with whisky and other spirits. Micro-distilleries are popping up, across the world! Scotland, Ireland, Canada, the United States. All of them will offer more temptations for the palette soon. Look for infusions with botanicals or hybrids combining whisky with other spirits.

We’re so confident in the rise of craft and micro-distilleries that our focus for our membership is all about them.

Experimentation with Maturation

Maturation is nothing new in whisky trends. However, many distilleries are thinking outside the traditional realm of maturation with beautiful results. Using French oak wine casks and other non-traditional methods, distilleries are attempting to stand out with a competitive edge, to create something new that will get everyone talking (and drinking).

Growth of Whisky-based Tourism

The wine industry thrives from conducting tours in the vineyards and cellars. Whisky distilleries have taken note over the years and in 2020, whisky trends will see a boom of tourism. Many have invested more money into their distilleries to make for fascinating tours, tasting rooms, and other perks that will have tourists coming in droves for a dram. The Banff Whisky Experience is just one Canadian example of events and places to explore!

Connected Bottles are Becoming a Thing

With everything accessed by smartphones, connected whisky bottles offer a way to keep customers in close ties with the brand. Promotional offers are starting to roll out on bottles that customers can use with their smartphones. It’s expected to have a hugely positive impact on the overall market growth of whisky worldwide.

Something that will continue from the last few years is the demand for Japanese whisky. Many American consumers are starting to venture into exploring it with pleasing results. Japan is also intent on wooing more drinkers with its versions of whisky.

All in all, whisky trends for 2020 really come down to one thing – whisky is still a force to be reckoned with in the spirits world. Keep an eye out for these 2020 whisky trends coming to you! Let’s just hope it doesn’t result in more whisky Tide Pods.

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Brendan Waller

A lover of his family, entrpreneurial ventures and ideas – And a great peated scotch.

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