Once upon a time when the folks from Mad Men ruled the earth, it was all about whiskey – Scotch, Rye, Bourbon, and Blends. Oh sure, there was the multiple martini lunch (Gin not Vodka) but for the most part it was the “brown goods” that ruled the home bar. By the late 60’s, Vodka started its ascendency and today it is the single largest category of spirits. And, it’s rise practically wiped whiskey off the map. The so-called brown stuff became “my father’s drink” and a new generation of drinkers jumped on the “white goods” bandwagon.
But guess what? There’s a newer generation of drinkers for whom Whiskey can be a real alternative to Vodka. Spurred on by the emerging sub-category of flavored whiskey (Red Stag by Jim Beam, Wild Turkey American Honey, others) I think Whiskeys will continue to grow and at a faster rate.
Bourbon is the engine of growth but you can expect good old Rye to fuel the category. Who knows – Blended Whiskey may make a comeback.