Brands Report 2022: World Whiskies

Suntory has ended Nikka’s six-year reign as the most popular world whisky in the Brands Report.

The two Japanese whisky producers have consistently filled the top two spots but at last Suntory has leapfrogged its rival. Suntory, best known for its Yamazaki single malt, which was crowned The World’s Most Admired Whisky brand 2021, proved most popular across the board with its Hakushu, Chita, Hibiki and Toki expressions completing a formidable portfolio.

Suntory was the house pour in 29% of venues and among the top-three world whiskies in 57%, while Nikka was slightly more likely to be the go-to – with 34% -–but less likely to be a supporting whisky. It was a top-three in 54% of cases. Largely driven by its hugely celebrated Nikka by the Barrel, the Nikka family also includes Yoichi, Miyagikyo, Taketsuru and Coffey Grain/Malt whiskies.

Asia’s influence on the world whisky category is formidable and Taiwanese brand Kavalan, while dropping one place in our bestselling list to fourth, is no exception. Known best for its sherry cask finishes, Kavalan was third choice in more bars than any other brand around the world.

Elsewhere, a healthy spread of international whisky from Canada, India, Australia and Taiwan all featured in the bestselling list, while Canadian-American hybrid whisky Whistlepig is the only new brand in 2022, entering at number seven.

The highest climber from last year is Japanese brand Ichiro’s, whose industry following continues to grow for founder Ichiro Akuto, the same man behind Chichibu, which features on the list of top trending brands. Ichiro’s rise has knocked Lot 40 from the bestselling list, which is a surprise omission for the Canadian rye whiskey.



The results of this report are the culmination of a questionnaire of 106 bars around the world, each cherry-picked to take part based on their performance in global bar awards. We aim to find out not only which brands sell best but also what’s trending. These two data sets give us an insight into the brands that are doing the most volume and the brands that are hot right now.

To read more on the methodology of the Brands Report click here.