The 10 best selling Scotch whisky brands - updated for 2017

As the Scotch Whisky industry returned to growth in 2016, we take a look at the top ten best selling Scotch whisky brands.

Published 28th Sep 2017
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

SWA public affairs director David Williamson stated recently that 2016 had seen Scotch whisky sales bounce back with "2017 also looking positive".

A new report has stated that Scotch whisky is now worth an incredible £5bn a year to the UK economy.

So which brands made it into the top ten best selling list?

10. Bell’s

(Owned by: Diageo)

Bell's. Picture: Geograph

Picture: Kenneth Allen\Geograph

No of cases sold in 2016: 2.10m

2015: 2.20m

2014: 2.5m

2013: 2.5m

Year on Year: -4.5% per cent

Previous position: 10

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Diageo’s Bell’s has stagnated somewhat of late and remains at number ten on the list having been in the same position for the last few years. However, if the downward sales trend continues it could lose its top 10 position.

9. Label 5

(Owned by: La Martiniquaise)

Scotch whisky best selling


No of cases sold in 2016: 2.59m

2015: 2.58m

2014: 2.6m

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2013: 2.5m

Year on Year: +0.4 per cent

Previous position: 9

Label 5 only made its debut in the top 10 in 2014, 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 to continue its impressive growth going forward.

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8. Dewar’s

(Owned by: Bacardi)

Dewar's. Picture: Pixabay

Dewar's. Picture: Pixabay

No of cases sold in 2016: 2.8m

2015: 2.68m

2014: 2.7m

2013: 3m

Year on Year: +4.5 per cent

Previous position: 8

Sales of Bacardi’s “Drinking Man’s Scotch” Dewar’s have bounced back thanks to strong sales in China and a focus on travel retail leading to higher visibility for global whisky consumers.

7. William Lawson’s

(Owned by: Bacardi)

No of cases sold in 2016:  2.99m

2015: 3.11m

2014: 2.8m

2013: 3.1m

Year on Year: -3.9 per cent

Previous position: 6

Declining sales has witnessed Bacardi-owned blended Scotch whisky brand William Lawson drop one place in the top 10 list after a period of considerable growth.

France, Belgium and Spain are important for this brand which is not that well known in the UK.

6. William Peel

(Owned by: Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits)


Picture: Belvédère

No of cases sold in 2016: 3m

2015: 2.9m

2014: 2.8m

2013: 2.7m

Year on Year: +3.5 per cent

Previous position: 7

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.

Growth in European markets such as France has seen it hit the 3m cases mark and rise one place in the top ten list.

5. J & B

(Owned by: Diageo)

J & B ad from 1971. Picture: Flickr

J & B ad from 1971. Picture: Flickr

No of cases sold in 2016: 3.5m

2015: 3.5m

2014: 3.7m

2013: 4m

Year on Year: 0 per cent

Previous position: 5

J & B is one of the most popular whisky brands in Europe and maintained its place at no.5 despite plateauing after a seven per cent loss in sales in 2015.

"The World's Party Whisky" is expected to be back to growth soon with a focus on improvement by Diageo.

4. Chivas Regal

(Owned by: Chivas Regal)

Best Selling whisky

Picture: Vimeo

No of cases sold in 2016: 4.26m

2015:  4.39m

2014: 4.6m

2013: 4.7m

Year on Year: -3 per cent

Previous position: 3


Dropping out of the top three is Chivas' second most popular bottling, with a slight dip in worldwide sales in 2016.

Despite the loss, Chivas Regal remains hugely popular and it is expected that if the rest of the industry continues its return to growth, the brand should also return to positive figures.

3. Grants

(Owned by: William Grant & Sons)

Grant's Picture: Flickr

Grant's. Picture: Julie Kertesz\Flickr

No of cases sold in 2016: 4.48m

2015: 4.35m

2014: 4.4m

2013: 4.7m

Year on Year: + 3 per cent

Previous position: 4


A new marketing strategy for Grants focusing on new premium expressions and travel retail has seen the popular brand rise above its closest competitor in Chivas Regal and back into the top 3.

2. Ballantine's

(Owned by: Chivas)

Ballantine's. Picture: Flickr

Picture: Daniel Mennerich/Flickr

No of cases sold in 2016: 6.7m

2015: 6.22m

2014: 6.1m

2013: 6m

Year on Year: + 7.7 per cent

Previous position: 2


Pernod Ricard-owned Ballantine’s has continued its steady growth of the past few years with close to an impressive 8 per cent rise year on year for 2016.

A keen focus on marketing and understanding of modern demand has continued its growth towards the 7m case mark.


1.Johnnie Walker

(Owned by: Diageo)

best selling Scotch whisky

1966 ad for Johnnie Walker. Picture: Hugues erre \Flickr

No of cases sold in 2016: 17.4m

2015: 17.6m

2014: 17m 

2013: 20.1m

Year on Year:  - 1.15 per cent

Previous position: 1


Still the world's best-selling Scotch whisky by some margin, despite consecutive losses since its high point in 2013.

Despite some confusion over the rebranding of certain bottles over recent years, Johnnie Walker remains as popular as ever and the brand has continued to innovate with new product launches and marketing campaigns.

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