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Asian spirits is the category to watch, says Master of Malt

Online retailer Master of Malt has revealed the findings of its latest insights report, which show that Asian spirits are one of its fastest growing categories. Find out why here…

According to Master of Malt’s latest number crunching, Asian spirits are seeing serious growth, with whisky, liqueurs, shōchū, baijiu, and more from Japan, China, India, Taiwan, and Thailand all climbing skyward.

While Japanese whisky saw a modest increase of 6.4% between 2020 and 2022, shōchū sales climbed by 28%, which Master of Malt attributes partially to producers outside of Japan starting to make shōchū, which is helping to boost awareness outside of the distilled beverage’s home country.

However, the real winner is Chinese baijiu, sales for which shot up by 91.5% in the last six months, compared with the six months previously. The report suggests that an increase in bartenders using baijiu to make cocktails could be behind the surge, with its umami flavours lending themselves well to mixology.

There has also been an “incredible rise of India Gin”, says the retailer.

Between 2021 and 2022, Indian gin soared by an unprecedented 134%, with Hapusa Gin being one of the most frequently purchased bottles on the Master of Malt site.

The report notes that Indian gin is bucking the trend of the wider gin category, which has hit something of a plateau during the last year.

Another bright prospect is Taiwanese whisky, which saw impressive growth of 28% between 2021 and 2022.

Thai spirits and Chinese liqueurs also saw solid success, rising 108% and 41% respectively.

As the drinks business has reported, spirits from South Korea is another key category to look out for, with South Korea recently launching its first single malt whisky. The first of its kind to be mashed, fermented, distilled, and matured in oak casks in Korea, its first batch of 1,506 bottles were exported to the US, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. The flagship whisky is expected to make its way to Canada and Europe, including Scotland, later this year.

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