Whisky sales have dropped by a million bottles in half a year
(Picture: Getty/metro.co.uk)

RED ALERT: Our whisky is in trouble and feeling a bit unloved.

We don’t know whether to blame the gin hype, the new focus on sobriety, or horrible shot experiences in university putting us off whisky for life, but here’s the deal: Whisky sales in the UK have fallen by one million bottles in the past six months.

And that, frankly, is unacceptable.

HMRC figures show 36.7million bottles were released for sale in the first half of 2017, down from 37.7million in the same period last year.

Why?

Are our palates too muddied to appreciate the joy of whisky? Is whisky seen as an old man’s drink in need of some rebranding? Are we all too busy celebrating gin and prosecco to even give whisky a go?

We reckon it’s time for a whisky resurgence.

Whisky sales have dropped by a million bottles in half a year
(Picture: Getty)

Alongside potential cultural factors, there’s a financial influence.

The spirits duty was increased by 3.9% in the spring Budget, with around 80% of the cost of each bottle of whisky going to the Treasury.

The Scotch Whisky Association has launched a campaign, called Drop the Dram Duty, calling on Chancellor Philip Hammond to cut the tax on Scotch.

Karen Betts of the Scotch Whisky Association said: ‘Philip Hammond’s damaging 3.9% spirits duty hike has hit UK demand for Scotch and seen less money going to the Treasury.

Whisky sales have dropped by a million bottles in half a year
(Picture: Getty)

‘The chancellor should use his November budget to Drop The Dram Duty and boost a great British success story.

‘Cutting tax would send a strong signal that the government believes in a world-famous UK manufacturing industry which supports 40,000 jobs and plays a key role in Scotland’s economy.’

The Treasury, meanwhile, says that the tax on a bottle of Scotch is 90p lower than it would ordinarily be now, thanks to duty freezes introduced in the last three years.

We’ll have to wait and see if there are any changes to the duty on spirits, but for now, might we suggest skipping the G&T and giving poor, unloved whisky a go? That bottle at the bar is starting to get a little dusty.

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