Drinks

We're About to Face a Global Shortage of Irish Whiskey

Maybe it's time we just started reaching for gin and tonics instead
Irish Whiskey Shortage 2018
Photo: Tasting Table

If you consider yourself a whiskey lover, 2018 hasn't exactly been treating you kindly. And it looks like it's about to get a little worse: John Teeling, a man widely regarded as the pioneer who brought Irish whiskey to the forefront of the spirits world, predicts that today's rising consumption of the spirit will cause a soon-to-come shortage.

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"What we are making now, you won’t sell for seven years. So we will have a shortage if the rate of growth continues at a cumulative rate over the next six or seven years," Teeling tells The Irish Times.

Across the world, Japan's distilleries are facing the same problem: A whisky drought caused by an unforeseeable boom in popularity that can be solved only when the malt being produced today reaches full maturity in a few years' time.

The Irish Times reports that sales of Irish whiskey are growing at more than 10 percent a year across 75-plus countries, while the Irish Whiskey Association recently announced plans for a global sales target of 24 million cases by 2030.

Some brands, such as Irish Distillers, the parent company of brands like Jameson, claim they are "laying down stock for our family of whiskeys from blends that require five to seven years to mature all the way up to whiskeys that mature over 30 years." However, it's not exactly clear if that will be enough to fulfill both an aggressive sales quota and the needs of everyone who's discovered the joys of a glass of single malt. Maybe now's a good time to start getting into rum.

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