Whisky is a passion to explore. From the history of the spirit to the evolution of the industry, the story of whisky helps fuel that passion. Often, it’s easy to forget that whisky is also a global multibillion dollar industry. The stories of whisky — from news and new releases to in-depth inquires and what goes on behind the label — blend together to help us appreciate the spirit of whisky.


Whisky Myths & Misconceptions

February 19, 2023 – There are a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding whisky, and every so often, we need to puncture those myths and shed some light on the facts…

For instance, the common perception is that if a whiskey is labeled as “straight,” then it can’t have any coloring or flavoring materials added.

This is where things get tricky…straight Bourbons, straight malt, straight rye, straight wheat, straight corn, and straight rye malt can’t have any coloring or flavorings added to them…

However, according to the TTB’s Beverage Alcohol Manual, “blended” versions of those whiskies (such as “a blend of Straight Bourbons”) can have so-called harmless coloring, flavoring, or blending materials added to them, as long as they don’t exceed two-point-five percent of the total volume. There’s no requirement to disclose that on the label.   

Here’s another one: there’s a myth that Jameson sales in the U-S account for 70 percent of all Irish Whiskey sales worldwide.

Not quite…and we have data that proves that.

Irish Distillers reported its half-year-financial outlook this week, and said Jameson U-S sales accounted for two-point-five million cases sold during the period. Let’s assume that the second half of the year is just like the first, and about 5 million cases are sold in the U-S during the 2023 fiscal year. Irish Whiskey sales worldwide this year are forecast to reach 12-point-6 million cases according to Euromonitor. That would make Jameson’s U-S sales about 40 percent of all global Irish Whiskey sales.

A large market share, yes…but not 70 percent. 

What are some of your favorite myths about whiskey…share them with us on social media or use our contact form, and we’ll do a truth test again on an upcoming episode.

Links: TTB Beverage Alcohol Manual