US whiskey imports to UK up 50%

US whiskey imports to the UK have risen 50% over the past decade according to the Wine and Spirits Trade Association.

In 2018, the equivalent of 27.6m bottles of US whiskey were exported to the UK, which is more than double the amount of 10 years ago, an increase of 14m bottles on 2008.

The growth in whiskey from the US comes in spite of a 25% tariff on the product, imposed in June 2018 by the European Commission in response to the imposition of tariffs on steel imported to the US from overseas.

In total, the imported whiskey category - which includes US, Japan and Irish among others - was worth almost £800m in the last 12 months.

Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA said: “More and more we find consumers are looking to try a new drink experience which has encouraged spirit producers, including US exporters to introduce new products to the UK market over the last decade.

“Unfortunately, Brits will start to see the price of these drinks rise because of punishing tariffs.”

The UK alcohol industry is one of the most heavily taxed in Europe and is already stung by the fourth highest duty rate for spirits across the EU.

Spirits duty contributes £9.1bn to the treasury and creates around 284,000 UK jobs.