Whiskey and whisky are confusing worlds. To clarify: you can only really call something ‘scotch’ if it was made in Scotland, and that’s often called ‘whisky’ to distinguish from ‘whiskey,’ which can be made anywhere. Other Scottish rules for Scotch: must be aged in oak casks for at least three years (and yes, still made in Scotland). Now, this is all big business — in the past 10 years, Scotch exports (again, from Scotland) have basically doubled. The U.S. spends $1.3 billion a year importing the stuff; France is No. 2, at a little less than half that total. So the U.S. and France are bringing in the most Scotch, but are they downing the stuff? Not as much. Check out this chart of scotch consumption per capita, via Quartz:
U.S. is down the list, between Germany and Mexico. Phrased another way, Americans drink less than 1/2 of one bottle of Scotch per person in a given year. France is No. 4 on the per capita; Frenchies drink about 2.5 bottles of scotch per person in a year. Um, let’s discuss Singapore for a second. That’s basically 13 bottles per person per year — i.e. Singapore residents are downing a full bottle of scotch per month, and maybe two around December. What is happening here?
There are an increasing amount of rich people in Singapore, which certainly helps with Scotch purchase. Also, between 1992 and 2004, large-scale drinking seemed to increase in the country as well. Finally, this bar called “Auld Alliance” in Singapore could theoretically be one of the best whisky bars in the world, so perhaps that’s played a marketing role.
If you’re more of a beer person, read this instead.