The 10 best selling Scotch whisky brands – updated for 2018

As the Scotch Whisky industry continued to enjoy successful growth in 2018, we take a look at the top ten best selling Scotch whisky brands.

Published 27th Jun 2018
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the Scotch Whisky industry has posted record-breaking exports in 2017, growing in both volume and value (by 1.6 per cent and 8.9 per cent respectively) to a total of £4.37bn - the equivalent of 1.23bn bottles exported globally.

The analysis also shows that exports of Single Malt Scotch Whisky continue to grow, with an increase of 14 per cent year-on-year to £1.17bn. This is the second year in a row that exports of Single Malt have surpassed £1bn, reflecting a trend towards premium products in global markets.

Now the Spirits Business have released the list of the top 10 selling Scotch brands in the world.

• READ MORE: The Spirits Business Brand Champions

The results show that though single malts maybe the flavour of the moment, when it comes to global sales blended whisky is still very much king.

10. Black & White

Picture: Classic Film/Flickr

2017 sales of 9 litre cases: 2.4m

2016: 1.8m

Year on Year: + 33.3 per cent

Place last year: N/A

Diageo's decision to reinvigorate this classic brand has paid dividends with massive growth and a place in the top ten.

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9. Label 5

(Owned by: La Martiniquaise)


2017 sales of 9 litre cases: 2.6m

2016: 2.6m

Year on Year: -0.4 per cent

Place last year: 9

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Label 5 only made its debut in the top 10 in 2014, with its success being credited to its use of social media and the release of its premium expression. Popular in France, where it sells the majority of its stock, the brand will hope the recent stagnation in sales doesn't continue.

8. Dewar’s

(Owned by: Bacardi)

Picture: Pixabay

2017 sales of 9 litre cases: 2.6m

2016: 2.8m

Year on Year: - 5 per cent

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Place last year: 8

Sales of Bacardi’s “Drinking Man’s Scotch” Dewar’s have slipped slightly following strong sales last year keeping them in 8th position.

7. William Peel

(Marie Briard Wine & Spirits (MBWS))

Picture: Belvédère

2017 sales of 9 litre cases: 3.1m

2016:  3m

Year on Year: + 3.3%

Place last year: 6

Relatively unheard of here, William Peel had been a bit of a rising star in recent years for owners Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits and former owners Belvédere.

6. William Lawson’s

(owned by Bacardi)

2017 sales of 9 litre cases: 3.1m

2016: 3m

Year on Year: + 5 per cent

Place last year: 7

France, Belgium and Spain are important for this brand which is not that well known in the UK but whose strong sales have seen it climb a place.

5. J & B

J & B ad from 1971. Picture: Flickr
J & B ad from 1971. Picture: Flickr

2017 sales of 9 litre cases: 3.4m

2016: 3.5m

Year on Year: - 2.9 per cent

Place last year: 5

J & B is one of the most popular whisky brands in Europe and maintained its place at no.5 despite posting another year of loss.

4. Chivas Regal

(Owned by: Chivas Regal)

Best Selling whisky
Picture: Vimeo

2017 sales of 9 litre cases: 4.2m


Year on Year: - 2.3 per cent

Place last year: 4

Having dropped out of the top three last year Chivas' second most popular bottling, suffered another slight dip in worldwide sales in 2017.

Despite the loss, Chivas Regal remains hugely popular and could soon return to growth with new investment by its parent company

3. Grant's

(Owned by: William Grant & Sons)

Grant's Picture: Flickr
Grant's. Picture: Julie Kertesz\Flickr

2017 sales of 9 litre cases: 4.5m

2016: 4.5m

Year on Year: + 1.3 per cent

Place last year: 3

The marketing strategy unveiled last year for Grants focusing on new premium expressions and travel retail has seen the popular brand continue to rise in sales.

2. Ballantine’s

(Owned by: Chivas)

Ballantine's. Picture: Flickr
Picture: Daniel Mennerich/Flickr

2017 sales of 9 litre cases: 6.9m

2016: 6.7m

Year on Year: + 3 per cent

Place last year: 2

Pernod Ricard-owned Ballantine’s has continued its steady growth of the past few years towards the 7m case mark with another impressive rise year on year for 2017.

1.Johnnie Walker

(Owned by Diageo)

best selling Scotch whisky
1966 ad for Johnnie Walker. Picture: Hugues erre \Flickr

2017 sales of 9 litre cases:  18.3m

2016: 17.4m

Year on Year: + 5.2 per cent

Place last year: 

Still the world's best-selling Scotch whisky by some margin, and with last year's growth it shows no sign of slipping.

A larger presence in global markets has seen the brand's sales grow by over 5 per cent.

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