HOW MUCH WHISKY IS IN SCOTLAND AT ANY ONE TIME? Not including those in my hoose.

Have you ever wondered how much whisky there is just lying about in Scotland? I have. Let me guess this bit, say there is an average of 400 litres per cask (I know some are smaller and some larger) as an average. They say there are 20 million casks maturing in Scotland at any one time.

whisky cask

So let’s do the sums; 8,000,000,000 litres, sitting there, angels take their share, at 2%. That’s quite a few bottles. Where does all the glass come from? How much (label) printing goes on? More to the point, how much Saxon government tax is about to be hoisted on us? With as much as 400,540,000 litres produced EVERY YEAR by distilleries (thanks to my pal Ingvar Ronde for stats), this means a hell of a lot either whisky or new spirit is hanging about in Scotland, have I done my sums right? Less the ones I buy.  That is some whisky loch, I used to sag off (hide/do something else/play football) my maths lessons at school, so am giving up on the whisky sums, but my questions now is this; would that whisky fill the space in Loch Ness? Would it overflow?

The biggest movers and shakers in our whisky industry are … Diageo with 28 distilleries, Pernod Ricard with 13, no one else really comes near, the largest at the moment for outrun would be Glenlivet at 21,000,000 litres per year. If we take that month by month, they are producing new spirit at 1,750,000 litres per month, equal to Balblair (approx.) in a year.  Or to take this further, one of my favourite distilleries; Edradour, they produce 260,000 litres a year! Which, by the way, are all bloody good drams!


When you take it to the extreme, Diageo contribute some 30.3% of the overall output, with my pals at Edradour offering  a miniscule %. Now moving on further, my favourite whisky? Impossible to say. But Mortlach at 3,800,000 and Dailuanine at 5,200,000, litres possibly my best two Diageo’s, saying that, not all goes into one bottling. On my desk at home lies an opened bottle of Edradour 2006 Madeira, in company with opened 2007 Sherry Rum, in addition to Port, Bordeaux and Oloroso finishes. Am I biased because they are close by me (half hour)? Not at all, I just happen to like their whisky – all of it – and always get a friendly welcome.  I also wonder about how much whisky goes into Whisky festivals, competitions, how much is sent to the numpty bibleman? How much is spilt?  Should be a law against this, but have seen this happen in so many bars.  All my stats come by the Malt Whisky Yearbook and Ingvar Ronde.  

When I state; “say there is an average of 400 litres per cask” It depends on the age of the Whisky, the size of the bottle selected and the strength (% alcohol) to bottle but usually between 300 – 450 bottles. I need an easy round figure to work with. Barrel approx. 190-200 litres, Barrique approx. 250-300 litres, Hogshead approx. 225-250 litres, Puncheon approx. 450-500 litres, Butt approx. 475-500 litres, Port pipe approx. 550-650 litres, Madeira drum approx. 600-650 litres.