Top 15 Scotch whisky companies
Scotch whisky is worth around £5bn to the UK economy and there are many companies involved in the industry. At this moment in time, there are 66 registered members of the Scotch Whisky Association, as well as other distillers, blenders and bottlers outside of the organisation.
Two companies account for approximately 55% of all whiskies sold worldwide: Diageo and Chivas Brothers, a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard. Diageo is the owner of Johnnie Walker, which accounts for over one-fifth of all Scotch whiskies sold worldwide, while Chivas Brothers own Ballantines and Chivas Regal, the second- and third-largest brands of Scotch whisky respectively.
WhiskyInvestDirect currently has maturing whiskies available for investment from the following companies: Diageo, La Martiniquaise, Beam Suntory, Whyte & Mackay, Distell, Picard Vins & Spiriteux and John Fergus & Co.
|Name||Key brands (blended)||Key brands (single malt)||Total Scotch whisky sales (000 cases)||Market share estimate (volume)||Description|
|Diageo||Johnnie Walker, J&B, Bells, Buchanans, White Horse, Black & White, Vat 69, Old Parr||Singleton, Talisker, Cardhu, Lagavulin, Oban, Dalwhinnie||30,100||36.3%||Diageo was formed in 1997 when United Distillers merged with International Distillers & Vintners to create a £27 billion beer, wine and spirit power house. Todays market cap is £46 billion. Diageo is a publicly listed company, in both London and New York. Johnnie Walker, its flagship blend, accounts for nearly one in five of all Scotch whisky bottles sold worldwide.|
|Chivas Brothers||Ballantines, Chivas, Clan Campbell, Passport, 100 Pipers||The Glenlivet, Aberlour||16,100||19.4%||Chivas Brothers is owned by the French drinks giant Pernod Ricard whose market cap is €29 billion. Chivas Regal 12 year old is the flagship Scotch brand. The company roots can be traced back to a grocery store in Aberdeen in 1801. Ballantine’s is the company’s largest whisky brand, ranked globally number two after Johnnie Walker.|
|William Grant & Sons||Grant’s, Clan MacGregor, Scottish Collie||Glenfiddich, Balvenie||6,500||7.8%||William Grant & Sons is the largest independently owned Scotch whisky company whose single malt brand, Glenfiddich sells over 12 million bottles.|
|Bacardi||William Lawson’s, Dewar’s||Aberfeldy, Glen Deveron||5,400||6.5%||Bacardi bought into the Scotch category in 1998 at the time of the IDV/UDV merger. They have two flagship blended whiskies: Dewar's and William Lawson's. The latter is a strong seller in Russia and Mexico, both markets with high growth potential.|
|The Edrington Group||Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark||Macallan, Highland Park||4,200||5.0%||The Edrington Group is owned by a charitable organisation, the Roberston Trust. The Famous Grouse is Scotland’s leading blended whisky. Macallan is now the global number three single malt.|
|La Martiniquaise||Label 5, Sir Edward’s||Glen Moray||3,800||4.6%||La Martiniquaise is a family-owned French company specialised in the supply of value for money wine and spirits, both branded and private label. France accounts for more than three-quarters of Label 5’s 2.1 million Scotch whisky case sales.|
|Belvédère||William Peel||3,100||3.7%||William Peel’s sales are almost all in one country, France, the largest Scotch whisky market. Belvédère own Marie Brizard liqueurs amongst other brands.|
|Beam Suntory||Teacher’s||Laphroaig, Bowmore, Auchentoshan Ardmore||2,200||2.7%||Suntory bought Beam Inc in 2014, merging their Scotch whisky interests. The Scotch portfolio has two of Islay’s top brands: Laphroaig and Bowmore. Teacher’s whisky is the number two Scotch brand in India, well placed to benefit from one of Scotch’s fastest growing markets.|
|Whyte & Mackay||Whyte & Mackay, Black Dog||Isle of Jura, Dalmore||1,000||1.3%||Whyte & Mackay has exchanged hands many times in recent history. It is now owned by Emperador, a Philippines based spirit company. The latest deal, in May 2014, valued the business at £430 million.|
|Loch Lomond||High Commissioner||Loch Lomond||640||0.8%||Loch Lomond was purchased in March 2014 by the private equity (Exponent) backed Loch Lomond Group. The company produce single malt and blended whisky. High Commissioner is a 0.5 million case brand in the UK.|
|Inver House (Thai Beverage)||Inver House, McAllister, Hankey Bannister||Old Pulteney, Speyburn, Balblair||600||0.7%||Inver House was founded in 1964 and now owns five malt distilleries. Following a management buy-out in 1998 it was purchased by Interbev in 2001.|
|Distell||Scottish Leader||Bunnahabhain, Tobermory, Ledaig||530||0.6%||Distell, the South African drinks giant, acquired the business of Burn Stewart in 2013 for £160 million. It owns three distilleries, a value for money blended whisky brand, and it has a strong position in Taiwan, a high growth malt whisky market.|
|Campari||Old Smuggler||Glen Grant||530||0.6%||Campari entered the Scotch whisky market in 2005 when it bought brands from Pernod Ricard in a deal worth €130 million. Sales in the key markets of Italy and Germany have declined since the acquisition.|
|LVMH||N/A||Glenmorangie, Ardbeg||530||0.6%||LVMH own two of the top 25 Scotch single malts, together with Hennessy Cognac. Ardbeg, a very heavily peated Islay malt, and Glenmorangie, have both increased market share over the last five years.|
|Macleod Distillers||King Robert II, Isle of Skye||Glengoyne, Tamdhu, Chieftain’s||520||0.60%||Macleod Distillers has evolved from a whisky-broking business to an integrated distiller, blender and bottler over the last thirty years. Both Glengoyne (2003) and Tamdhu (2011) were purchased from Edrington.|
|James Eadie||Trade Mark ‘X’||Independent bottler of small batch and single cask malts. Recent bottlings include Auchroisk, Blair Athol, Caol Ila and Benrinnes.||James Eadie was revived as a whisky producer in 2015 and whilst it has some way to go to become one of the top 15 worldwide Scotch companies the single cask and small batch bottlings and Trade Mark ‘X’ blend have been well received by whisky fans and experts alike.|