The value of Scotch whiskey exports has rocketed by 87 per cent in the past decade to reach profits of £4.3 billion, according to the Scottish government.
Whiskey export volumes have also risen by 32 per cent during the last ten years. The analysis is based on the latest figures from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Today, many revellers across the world will be preparing to enjoy a wee dram (a measure of whiskey) as part of their New Year’s celebrations, further strengthening the export market.
Ranked by the volume of sales, the top five markets for whiskey exports are the US, France, Singapore, Spain and Germany.
Scotland’s food and drink minister, Richard Lochhead, said: “Scotch Whisky is one of our most iconic products and these figures demonstrate the huge global demand for whisky.
"I’ve made growing the food and drink industry one of my main priorities since coming to office and I’m particularly pleased that these results show a 51 per cent rise in the value of exports since 2007.”
Mr Lochhead confirmed that Scotch whiskey is currently being exported to 173 countries across the globe to destinations as varied as Brazil, China, Bermuda, Papua New Guinea and the Vatican City.
He added: “This just exemplifies how important Scotch whisky is not only to the Scottish economy, but to our deserved reputation as a land of food and drink.”
The Scottish diaspora has been cited as another reason for the increasing popularity of whiskey. Mr Lochhead suggests that up to 50 million people worldwide can claim Scottish ancestry and even more have some sort of connection with the country through visiting, working or studying in Scotland.
Furthermore, Scotch is now significantly more popular with French drinkers than cognac. Environment secretary, Owen Paterson, was happy to repeat this fact at the Food and Drink Federation’s president’s reception earlier this month.
According to Mr Paterson, the volumes of whiskey sold in France per month outweigh the sales of cognac in an entire year.