• France's news in English
Watch out Scotland, France may soon be 'home of whisky'
Photo: AFP

Watch out Scotland, France may soon be 'home of whisky'

The Local · 18 Mar 2016, 11:40

Published: 18 Mar 2016 11:40 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Paris-based consultancy firm Bonial, which carried out the study, says whisky is now so popular in France that is rapidly becoming that country’s national drink.

According to researchers, the average whisky consumption by a French adult is 2.15 litres a year - and that’s on top of all the wine, cognac and pastis they drink.

To put it in perspective, that’s 140 million litres of whisky in total, which would fill 45 olympic swimming pools.

That was enough to put France on the top of the global league table for the biggest whisky drinkers in the world.

In the US, the home of Bourbon, they only drink 1.44 litres of whisky per person each year and in Britain it's 1.25 litres per person, ever so slightly ahead of the Irish on 1.24 litres per person.

Even the French press were taken aback.

“You thought that the biggest drinkers of whisky were the Americans, the Irish or the Scottish? You are wrong. It’s….the French!” wrote Europe 1 radio.

Not only does France top the world table for whisky drinkers, but the tipple is also the most popular spirit in France, which is not short of popular spirits.

Some 38 percent of the spirits downed in France are whiskies.

Bonial pointed out that whisky is enjoyed by all social classes in France due to the relatively low prices of a bottle. While Scottish malts and blends accounted for 90 percent of the whisky drunk, the favourite brand was actually Jack Daniels.

But the French love of Scotch is burgeoning, with France the world’s biggest importer of Scotch whisky – some 200 million bottles are downed each year.

Bonial revealed more and more people are testing their taste buds on rarer and more expensive brands.

But things may change.

While French distilleries currently only produce around 700,000 bottles a year, French whisky makers are convinced that they will one day compete with Irish and Scottish brands.

Nicolas Julhès, the head of the Distillerie de Paris told The Times: "Within 15 years the world's best whiskies will be French. We will be able to stop copying the Scots and bring a real French style. We have the greatest specialists on the ageing [of alcoholic drinks] who have always worked in wine and cognac."

So either Scotland needs to up its game or quickly learn how to make cognac.

Story continues below…

In 2015, the regions of Alsace in the east and Brittany in the west were declared official whisky-producing areas with “Le Whisky Breton” and “Le Whisky Alsacien” being granted protected status.

Whisky is also made in the south east of the country (Tarn and Herault) and in Champagne-Ardenne, the Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Corsica.





Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

UK border must move back, says 'next French president'
Photo: AFP

If favourite Alain Juppé is elected, Britain and France are in for some difficult negotiations.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available