Whisky trends are changing all the time and with centuries of history to rely on, it can only mean more innovation and intrigue for drinkers. We take a look at some of the newest trends to hit the whisky making industry.
Fresh new flavours
Whisky creators are always pushing the boat out in terms of flavour. In an industry that has been around for centuries, it’s important to keep things fresh. There has been a plethora of new flavours joining the market in recent years, from IPA cask matured, Ice Wine cask matured and even chestnut wood matured. People are always looking for something new to enjoy, especially something a bit niche and whisky makers are leaning into that with lots of new unheard of flavours.
People are moving towards becoming more and more eco-friendly and the whisky industry is moving towards the same thing. There are so many innovative ways that whisky distilleries can make their processes eco-friendly. Many already embrace this by recycling waste from the whisky making process in feed for cattle, where others are turning to green energy and ways to make their processes sustainable. This is an exciting opportunity for the whisky industry and goes hand in hand with a lot of the progress being done to craft new flavours as well.
Accelerating Racial and Gender Equality
The world is pushing towards becoming a more equal place, with lots more emphasis being placed on the need for more racial and gender equality. While there have been female whisky makers in the industry for centuries, they are definitely the minority and the industry has a long way to go. The recent hiring of Emma Walker as the first female Master Blender for Johnnie Walker is perhaps telling of new trends in hiring people less likely to be represented in whisky making.
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With more and more new distilleries appearing all the time, some brands are looking backwards and unearthing quality malts from ghost distilleries. These are distilleries that closed a long time ago but still have some malt available. It’s a great opportunity for fans to embrace history and uncover a little bit about the whisky history that has gone before them.
The wood makes the whisky. It is essential that whisky makers use the best available casks in order to get the best whisky as a result. These days there is a lot more experimentation going on with casks, with some whisky procedures using uncommon casks, like chestnut or limousine, or red wine, tequila and rum casks to mature their malts. This is a great period of experimentation for the industry and is producing some brilliantly fascinating flavour profiles. It really is the golden era of whisky production.
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The Rise of the English Microdistillery
Scotch might be the king of Whisky but the English are hot on their tail. Whisky is now an international spirit, being made literally all over the globe. England used to be well populated with distilleries but their number declined significantly over the years. Recently however, like the rest of the world, local distilleries have been popping up all over the place and gaining lots of popularity. The question remains to be seen, can the crown on scotch’s head be snapped up by their neighbours up North?
Here’s to Highballs
Highballs are becoming ever trendier with UK drinkers, especially as people turn towards cocktails. The Japanese are known for their accuracy and high quality cocktails and the Highball is the perfect example of that. They’re easy to whip up and make the perfect way to enjoy a refreshing dram of whisky. They can be versatile and are easy to enjoy both at home or at a bar.
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Whisky Clubs for Twenty-Somethings
The myth that whisky is the reserve of dusty, old men has long since died out. Now it is the coolest spirit to enjoy and younger drinkers are fully embracing their love of whisky. And with that whisky clubs are rising again, particularly for the younger crowd. The rise of subscription services and easily accessible online tastings have made whisky clubs fresh and cool for new audiences. The recent pandemic and preceding lockdowns were the opportune time for online tastings to rise, and the effect has continued even after the lockdowns are over.
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A Nation of Refined Drinkers
With the rise of spirits like Gin and Whisky, and more small, boutique distillery appearing all the time, people are embracing premium whiskies. High quality whisky is becoming more desirable. People want to know that they are getting the best nd with trends moving towards making your own cocktails and home based mixology, only the finest will do.
Edinburgh’s Urban Distilleries
Edinburgh has always held a lot of whisky history but in recent years more distilleries, whisky experiences and visitor centres have been developed. The most recent, the Johnnie Walker experience on Princes Street, is set to be a huge tourist attraction, really setting Edinburgh up to be the worldwide capital of whisky.