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Top 10 Scotch whisky brands 2013

With Scotch whisky continuing to dominate the global spirits sector, we countdown the world’s 10 largest Scotch whisky brands by volume.

With China’s clampdown on gift giving and spending and the upcoming Scottish referendum on independence Scotch whisky has endured a tumultuous year.

Scotch whisky exports to China dropped by 30% last year according to the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), however strong sales in the US, France, Brazil, Mexico and Poland appeared to counteract this drop boosting the category’s overall performance in 2013 by 3%.

Despite an increasingly challenging market, the category has continued to show positive growth with the majority of top 10 brands increasing their volumes in 2013.

Johnnie Walker this year broke through the 20 million case mark for the first time increasing its volumes by a whopping 10.5%, streaking ahead of its closest stablemate by some 14 million cases and securing its place as the biggest Scotch whisky brand in the world.

Based on data collected by Intangible Business and the drinks business, these are the biggest Scotch whisky brands by volume, which importantly enjoy a globally distribution.

Scroll through to see the world’s biggest internationally distributed Scotch whisky brands by volume…

9. Buchanan’s

2013 case volumes: 2.10 million cases

2012 case volumes: 1.77 million cases

Growth in 2013: 15%

Owned by Diageo Buchanan’s Scotch whisky enjoyed a 15% increase to its volumes last year – the largest growth seen by any of the top 10 brands. It’s most popular blends include its Black & White, originally Buchanan’s Blend, Special Reserve 18 and Red Seal.  

9. Teacher’s

2013 case volumes: 2.10 million cases

2012 case volumes: 2.21 million cases

Growth in 2013: -5.2%

Tying in eighth position with Buchanan’s is Teacher’s, the blended Scotch whisky brand produced in Glasgow and owned by Beam Inc, which in 2013 saw its volumes slide by 5.2% – the biggest drop out of all the top 10 brands.  

8. Bell’s

2013 case volumes: 2.30  million cases

2012 case volumes: 2.29 million cases

Growth in 2013: 0.4%

Slightly ahead of Buchanan’s and Teachers with 2.30 million cases is Bell’s, who achieved a marginal 0.4% increase on its volumes.  

7. William Lawson’s

2013 case volumes: 2.65 million cases

2012 case volumes: 2.53 million cases

Growth in 2013: 4.5%

Despite being launched just six years ago in Russia, Williams Lawson’s has carved a place for itself within the whisky world stage increasing its volumes to 2.65 million cases last year. It is owned by Bacardi.

6. Famous Grouse

2013 case volumes: 3.10 million cases

2012 case volumes: 3.17 million cases

Growth in 2013: -2.2%

With declining sales of 2.2%, The Famous Grouse ties in sixth position with Dewar’s at 3.10 millions cases.

6. Dewar’s

2013 case volumes: 3.10 million cases

2012 case volumes: 3.00 million cases

Growth in 2013: 3.2%

Increasing its volumes by 3.2% Dewar’s rose to join The Famous Grouse in sixth place this year recording volumes of 3.10 million cases.

5. J&B

2013 case volumes: 4.25 million cases

2012 case volumes: 3.98 million cases

Growth in 2013: 6.3%

Diageo-owned J&B saw growth of 6.3% in 2013 climbing into fifth place with 4.25 million cases.

4. Grants Scotch

2013 case volumes: 4.60 million cases

2012 case volumes: 4.55 million cases

Growth in 2013: 1%

With rising volumes of 1% Grants Scotch misses out on a top three position by some 300,000 cases chasing Chivas Regal.  

3. Chivas Regal

2013 case volumes: 4.93 million cases

2012 case volumes: 4.90 million cases

Growth in 2013: 0.6%

Opening the top three is Pernod Ricard’s Chivas Regal which managed an increase of 0.6% to its volumes last year.

2. Ballantines

2013 case volumes: 5.94 million cases

2012 case volumes: 5.91 million cases

Growth in 2013: 0.5%

With a marginal increase in volume of just 0.5% it hasn’t been a great year for Pernod Ricard’s Ballantine’s in terms of growth, however it is still one million cases ahead of its nearest stablemate, Chivas Regal.

1. Johnnie Walker

2013 case volumes: 20.14 million cases

2012 case volumes: 18.02 million cases

Growth in 2013: 10.5%

The undisputed current king of Scotch is Johnnie Walker – the Diageo-owned blended Scotch colossus which this year broke through the 20m-case barrier for the first time thanks to its hugely impressive geographical spread. Not even the clampdown on extravagance in China could interrupt its progress with much of its success down to its depth in terms of market coverage, as well as its premium and above price positioning.

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