There is the famous quote, “the price of a thing is whatever people are willing to pay for it.” This actually goes back as far as the 1st century BCE, to Publilius Syrus in ancient Rome, and it certainly governs the lion’s share of transactions all this time later.

The high-end whiskey market is a particularly interesting case, however. It’s not that it’s totally divorced from the market; it’s rather that it because it’s such a small and intricate market, it behaves differently than a typical market, and most certainly differently than a mass market.

With the help of our friends at , we have put together this article to analyze some of the trends in this very special niche in the marketplace.

Just to start, let’s point out that this is an absolute explosive growth market at his point in time. Smaller high-end markets have this amazing mobility, especially upward mobility, which in many cases continues to get buoyed up by brand loyalty.

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In terms of growth, right now there are several factors driving it to such an extent. One is quite simply that in macro terms, the economy is better than ever, and new millionaires are being made at a rapid rate. Of course, getting ahead economically doesn’t necessarily improve one’s taste, but we’re seeing all over different economic strata people insisting on better quality product, even if that means they consume less. Finally, combine all of this with increasingly liberal laws regarding the hours of alcohol sales, especially in generally restrictive markets like the USA, and you have the ingredients for a bumper year.

To speak more on brand loyalty, when a distinguished customer imbibes his or her first serving of a great whiskey like the Springbank 24 they tend to get hooked on it and want the same the next time around. People, especially high-end customers, are remarkably adept at sorting out their personal tastes and sticking with a few preferred brands. This creates customer bases with some pretty remarkable staying power, and pushes further innovation, furthering the cycle of growth.

At this point, we can only give the absolute best prognosis for the future of the high-end liquor industry in general, and especially that of high-end small batch whiskeys. We feel that the strong growth is very likely to continue over the next several years. Here’s to your health!


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