SCOTCH whisky exports broke through the £6 billion barrier last year for the first time.

Distillers exported £6.2bn-worth of our national drink, climbing from £4.52bn in 2021, and up from £4.92bn in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic struck.

The equivalent of 1.67 billion 700ml bottles left Scotland’s shores last year, up by 21% year-on-year.

That meant the equivalent of 53 bottles are sent overseas every second, compared with 44 each second in 2021.

Mark Kent, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said: The enduring strength of Scotch whisky as the UK’s leading food and drink export is its global appeal to consumers who recognise the quality of the spirit, with production increasingly grounded in sustainable practices as we continue to reduce our impact on the environment by investing in the future.

“Passing £6bn in export value for the first time is a milestone, and testament to the work of our member companies and the tens of thousands of employees across Scotland and the UK supply chain who make Scotch whisky a global success story of which we are rightly proud.”

The Glencairn Glass


In other whisky news, glasses maker Glencairn Crystal has extended its sponsorship deal with the Bloody Scotland book festival.

The Glencairn Glass, which began sponsoring the McIlvanney Prize in 2020, has signed a three-year deal, covering the festival’s debut crime novel of the year award as well.

Bob McDevitt, director of Bloody Scotland, said: “We are so pleased that The Glencairn Glass has extended its sponsorship of our prizes, helping us to celebrate new and established voices in Scottish crime writing.”

Kirsty Nicholson, Glencairn’s design manager, added: “Like Scottish crime writing, the Glencairn Glass is a truly global phenomenon and we look forward to working with Bloody Scotland in celebrating great crime novels.”

Whisky Genius' launch at Edinburgh Castle

And finally, Edinburgh Castle last week hosted the launch of WhiskyGenius, a marketplace for whisky that uses blockchain technology.

Founder Murray Holdgate said: “We couldn’t have wished for a better launch for WhiskyGenius; set in the majestic Edinburgh Castle, our first event has certainly set the pace for future occasions.”

A “blockchain” is a “distributed ledger” – a string of connected pieces of data that are stored across a network, rather than in a single location.

The drinks industry uses the technology to trace the ownership of individual bottles.

Read more news and reviews on Scottish Field’s food and drink pages, in association with Cask & Still magazine.

Back to blog