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The top 10 Scotch whisky brands

With the value of global Scotch whisky sales increasing, we countdown the world’s 10 largest Scotch whisky brands.

Although the number of bottles of Scotch sold around the world actually fell in 2012, the value of sales grew by 1%. This is attributed to drinkers in the US and Asia turning to more expensive brands.

Blended whisky is still by far the biggest selling variant of Scotch, but the value of single malts increased by 4.5% in the last year and it has enjoyed a massive 190% growth over the past decade.

The growth of Scotch has been helped by its popularity in Asia, and China in particular, as well as in the US and across Eastern Europe.

But which are the biggest selling brands around the world? The number one seller may not come as a huge surprise, but as part of its 2013 Brand Champions series, our sister publication, The Spirits Business, revealed the top 10 Scotch sellers.

Click through the following pages to discover which are the world’s largest Scotch whisky brands.

10. Bell’s

2012 case sales: 2.5m
2011 case sales: 2.5m
Growth in 2012: 0%

Bell’s, the premium blended Scotch owned by Diageo, has maintained steady volumes over the past year.

9. Label 5

2012 case sales: 2.5m
2011 case sales: 2.5m
Growth in 2012: 0%

Label 5 blended Scotch whisky, which recently launched its CatchThe5 digital marketing campaign, has endured a couple of years of stagnant growth, but continues to be one of the most popular Scotch whiskies in several markets across the globe.

8. William Lawson’s

2012 case sales: 2.6m
2011 case sales: 2.3m
Growth in 2012: 13%

Having launched in Russia five years ago, William Lawson’s blended Scotch whisky has sailed past some of the world’s larger brands to become the country’s biggest imported spirit, with sales of almost a million cases last year.

The brand, onwed by Bacardi, has risen from 13th to eighth position in just five years.

7. Dewars

2012 case sales: 3m
2011 case sales: 3.2m
Growth in 2012: -6%

The Bacardi-owned blended Scotch, a hit amongst its American drinkers, shrank slightly in the past year, pushing it down from sixth position to seventh.

That all may change in the 2013 Brand Champions however, when sales of Dewar’s Highlander Honey – the first Scotch to add honey flavouring – are taken into account.

6. The Famous Grouse

2012 case sales: 3.2m
2011 case sales: 2.9m
Growth in 2012: 10%

Product innovation in The Famous Grouse line-up has helped drive sales of the Edrington-owned brand in the last 12 months.

Its popular Snow Grouse and Black Grouse editions continue to do well in travel retail and the off-trade, while prime marketing investment has helped drive awareness of the brand around key gifting occasions.

5. William Grant’s

2012 case sales: 4.5m
2011 case sales: 5m
Growth in 2012: -10%

A hefty drop for William Grant & Sons’ namesake blended Scotch, which dropped 500,000 case sales in the last 12 months. However its wide sales gap from closest rivals Dewar’s and The Famous Grouse have ensured William Grant’s has kept its position as the world’s fifth largest Scotch whisky brand.

4. J & B Rare

2012 case sales: 4.6m
2011 case sales: 4.8m
Growth in 2012: -4%

A slight drop for Diageo’s J&B Rare blended Scotch brand, which counts the US as one of its largest markets along with South East Asia, and southern Europe, particularly Spain, France and Portugal.

3. Chivas Regal

2012 case sales: 4.8m
2011 case sales: 4.9m
Growth in 2012: -2%

Chivas Regal has continued to prove itself as a truly global brand, despite its first drop in sales since the recession hit in 2008.

The market-leading Scotch aged over 12 years in Europe and Asia Pacific, Chivas Regal remains only ever so slightly ahead of J&B Rare on the list of the world’s largest Scotch whisky brands, despite grabbing third position from William Grant’s this year.

2. Ballantine’s

2012 case sales: 5.8m
2011 case sales: 6.5m
Growth in 2012: -11%

Sales have drastically declined for the Pernod Ricard-owned brand in 2012, although Ballantine’s is still one million cases ahead of its nearest rival Ballantine’s, also owned by Pernod.

1. Johnnie Walker

2012 case sales: 19.7m
2011 case sales: 18m
Growth in 2012: 9%

Johnnie Walker, still strides ahead of the competition, has proven this year why it deserves to be the world’s largest Scotch whisky brand. An additional 1.7m case sales in 2012 have propelled the Diageo-owned brand even further ahead of its nearest rival Chivas Regal, which lags behind on 5.8m case sales.

A truly global brand, Johnnie Walker adopted colour coding from the start, giving consumers a clear ladder of products to choose from and encapsulating them within the Johnnie Walker family.

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