The US Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) recently released their reports on sales for spirits in 2011. The findings show that Irish whiskey has outsold single malt Scotch in the US.

Just-Drinks reports that with the new sales figures , the United States has now become a key battle ground where Irish whiskey outsells single malt Scotch. 

During the calendar year of 2011, Irish whiskey sales rose by 24% to 1.7m nine-litre cases, while Scotch single malt whisky sales increased by only 9.5% to 1.4m cases. 

According to Just-Drinks, Ireland’s beloved Jameson brand whiskey is helping to bolster the upward growth of sales.

What’s driving the growth of Irish whiskey sales? “Irish whiskey is enjoying a renaissance at the moment. The bigger companies have come in with enough commercial muscle to expand production, sales and grow the brands,” said Kieran Tobin, chairman of the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland.

Similarly, younger American generations seem to be discovering and enjoying Irish whiskey’s “smooth and sweet texture.”
“On the other hand, let's not get carried away,” writes Chris Mercer for Just-Drink. “If blended Scotch is included in the Scotch figures then one can add a further 6m cases to Scotch sales. Include bulk, bottled malt and grain Scotch, too, and the total Scotch figure is 9m cases.”
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With the recent purchase of Cooley by Beam, Inc, all of the major distilleries in Ireland are now under foreign ownership.

“Pernod Ricard owns Irish Distillers, which produces the most popular Irish whiskey brand, Jameson, at its Midleton distillery. Diageo bought Bushmills in 2005 and the Scottish company William Grant & Sons purchased Tullamore Dew in 2010,” reports the Financial Times.

Which do you prefer - Irish whiskey or Scotch?

Here's Jamesons more popular advert: