The UK seems seriously out of step with the rest of the world, with women representing only a third of the nation’s whisky drinkers, according to an article in the Scotsman.com. In countries such as France and Russia, the comparable figures are around 50:50, with the growth in emergent areas like Latin America and the Far East often being led by women! I wonder if this is because the whisky is mixed with something a little more enticing than water?
Apparently the oldest family owned whisky distiller, William Grant & Sons, has commissioned a World Whisky Map to provide a global picture of the whisky industry. The map examines the global differences in consumer's perceptions and tastes which prove interesting reading:
In Brazil, whisky is enjoyed as a long drink with coconut water and ice.
In China, 60% of whisky drinkers are under 35 and often serve blends and malts with cold sweet green tea on the rocks
In Bulgaria, Scotch is the party drink, often served with energy drinks
In South Africa whisky is popular in whisky-based cocktails
In Australia, with the prevalence of beach and outdoor culture, whisky is commonly served ready mixed for al fresco dining
Brian Kinsman, Master Blender at Grants, senses this is part of a world shift towards sweeter drinks, and the casks used in maturing the whisky can play a part there. Casks that were previously used for bourbon can imbue their content with crème brûlée and vanilla flavours, while former sherry casks often deliver firm hints of spice and dried fruit.
Bruichladdich produce Redder Still as a limited edition – the whisky spends over two decades in American oak Bourbon casks followed by a time in casks from Chateau Lafleur in Bordeaux. The whisky is reddish in colour with flavours of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and plums.
It was reported in 2004 that Bruichladdich had created a red hued whisky by accident. After 1,040 weeks in bourbon casks, the whisky spent just five in Mourvedre wine casks, an experiment designed to add a suggestion of fruit flavour that resulted in unexpected effects – the whisky was bright pink.
Whilst traditionalists were spluttering into their tumblers at the idea of a pink whisky, experts predicted that younger consumers, female drinkers and the pink pound could be tempted by the tipple – which was nicknamed "Flirtation".
It seems that the pink whisky was a success – and inspired the use of prestigious ex-chateau barrels in preference to Mourvedre wine casks - the first release of Redder Still sold out so quickly that few ever got to see it let alone taste it. The price tag? £450 for 700ml.
I must admit that I do prefer slightly a sweeter styled whisky to smoky varieties and although a pink whisky might seem patronising to the female sex, it's the taste that counts. If the price tag was not so high this would definitely be a whisky I would try. What do you think?