Bushmills 1608 (John Hansell) and Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve (John Hansell, Bill Dowd).
Irish whiskey volumes still growing fast
The two giants in the Irish whiskey business, Diageo and Pernod-Ricard, released interim half-year results recently. Sales of Bushmills (Diageo) rose 9% (according to The Irish Times business section on Friday; I couldn't find mention of this on Diageo's site).
Sales of Jameson were up 16%, in volume terms, and 23% in value terms, reflecting Pernod-Ricard's successful strategy to "premiumise" Jameson (i.e. persuade consumers that Jameson is a quality drink that is worth paying a little more for).
Jameson now sells 2.3m case equivalents per year (a case equivalent is nine litres of spirit). Pernod-Ricard aims to shift 3m c/e by 2010.
We also learned from the Jameson results that Irish whiskey is the fastest growing spirit category globally (9.6%). Compare that to malt whiskey (5.2%, presumably excluding Irish malt whiskey) and blended Scotch (4%).
Of course the usual caveat applies: Irish whiskey is growing off a relatively small base.