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Profile of modern whisky drinker revealed - and it's not what you think

The usual stereotypes surrounding the typical whisky drinker appear to be eroding, particularly if the most recent research by YouGov is anything to go by. 

Published: December 11, 2019
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Traditionally seen as the preserve of older men, the latest research from the polling giant found that our palates are becoming refined enough to appreciate Scotland’s national spirit earlier than people might expect, with 84 per cent of UK whisky drinkers now stating that they started to enjoy whisky before the age of 31.

Unexpectedly, it seems Scots take almost a decade to catch up with Londoners in appreciating the country’s national spirit.

The study shows the highest proportion of whisky drinkers in Scotland started to enjoy whisky at the age of 30 (17 per cent), compared to Londoners who are able to appreciate it a whole decade earlier (15 per cent at the age of 18 and 15 per cent at 20).

The first in a series of studies from a Scottish distillery driving what they say is the conversation around Scotch, Fettercairn commissioned the study to provide an insightful view – and a new perspective - on whisky gifting this Christmas.

The key takeaway, according to the team? Don’t go for the staples of the past - just 3 per cent of those questioned said they’d appreciate being given a mainstream blended whisky in their stocking.

The brand added that exploration is now the biggest draw for drinks fans, with whisky lovers stating that they hoped to find ‘a whisky with a unique flavour profile’ (46 per cent) or ‘a whisky they’ve never tried before’ (37 per cent) under their Christmas tree.

Stewart Walker, distillery manager at Fettercairn stated that though the age-old stereotypes around whisky still exist, their research proves that a fine single malt is "no longer just a gift for your grandparents", he said:  “It’s great to see people looking for something a little bit different this Christmas and, with an ingenious approach to crafting whisky, Fettercairn makes for the perfect present for the whisky curious and connoisseur alike.

Glen Lyon Coffee Roasters stock Scotland’s first sailboat-shipped speciality coffee

"Our distillery’s innovative copper cooling ring distillation process, which remains exclusive to Fettercairn, drenches the stills in clear mountain water from the Cairngorms, ensuring only the finest vapours rise for collection during each distillation."


Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.

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