Whisky. It’s DEFINITELY not for girls. Except for everywhere else on Earth…

According to an article in the Scotsman newspaper recently, girls only represent a third of  Scotland’s whisky drinkers. It probably surprises you that it’s as much as that. It certainly surprised us. We trained an ALL-female class in St Andrews yesterday and only a couple of them were whisky ‘likers’, never mind lovers, so we’ll be conducting our own research on this, over the next few months.
However, things are changing and you’ll see from the above flyer for the Belladrum Festival, it’s happening quite quickly. The ‘Beverly Knight’ pitcher and one of Scotland’s most traditional and largest distilleries!
It’s not surprising really. In countries such as France and Russia, when it comes to whisky, the figures are much more an even split of men and woman. Emerging markets like Latin America and the Far East are in many cases, much more female biased. That’s maybe because whisky’s drunk in very different ways. This would also explain why the demand for blended Scotch whisky, worldwide is so high. In Scotland, we really, seriously, need to take the blinkers off.
After all, if YOU were offered ANY spirit basically in ‘shot’ form, be it tequila, rum, brandy or vodka to try,  for the very first time, you’d probably find it quite intimidating. Gin is another one. Imagine you got raw gin from someone, with nothing in it, at a party. You’d think this was very strange.  Gin on it’s own? No tonic? Eh?
So why is it that we regularly INSIST on letting people have their very first taste of Scotch whisky in this way? Maybe it’s time for Scotland to catch up with how the rest of the world serve our National drink?
  • In Russia, they don’t think it’s a big deal to drink diet Coke with ancient malts
  • In South America, whisky can often be a long drink with coconut milk, lemon and ice.
  • 60% of Chinese whisky drinkers are under 35 and drink blends (and fine malts) with sweet green tea and ice
  • In Bulgaria, Scotch Whisky  is a clubber’s, party drink, served with Red Bull-type drinks
  • In South Africa, whisky is popular in cocktails and clubby punches
  • In Australia, surf dudes also like it in mixed punches. It’s not a macho thing though, lots of girls love it
I we had a pound for every woman that we train who initially reckons Scotch whisky is ‘too strong’ or has a ‘medicine’ taste, we’d have a right few quid. The problem is that quite often, the first taste of whisky has maybe been as a young drinker, where a girl has got to sample something from a young Scotsman who has been extolling his manly virtues by imbibing a Laphroaig or a Bowmore, to demonstrate that the stronger and more peat laden the dram, the more of a sexual powerhouse he is. Because of this and similar scenarios, it’s ingrained in many a Scotswoman’s mind that whisky’s not for them. This is in spite of the facts that:
  • There are lots of sweet, exciting, unpeated Malts
  • Some of the ‘new makes’ (under 3 years old) whisky are GREAT in cocktails
  • The finishes available, using sweet white wines, burgundy and rum, lend Scotch a much more approachable taste
  • The female palate is actually superior for whisky nosing and tasting
  • Many of the World’s top distilleries are run by females, with their superior noses
  • Lots of women actually PREFER peaty whisky, our Whisky Ambassador graduate Bayile being one!
So the next time anyone tells you that whisky is not for girls, you can tell them that factually, this is actually is a load of boll..erm balderdash.
On a final note, there would be those who may argue that the LAST thing we want to see is lots of young girls drinking lots of cheap alcohol at festivals. We’d agree 100% and that’s why we’re educating young females, young men and basically everyone to choose our own National Drink. Fine Scotch is a thing of delicacy, to be sipped and savoured and our  Drink Less. Drink Better.  mantra can become all the more real! Exciting times!


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