The number of people claiming Irish whiskey as their favourite is staggering.
It’s a category that includes gin, vodka, brandy, whisky, cognac and brandy-infused liquors.
But this category has been under-represented by some Irish whiskey aficionados, with many opting for spirits made elsewhere.
I know, I know, we’re Irish, said a man who had an issue with the idea of an Irish whiskey bar.
And while he didn’t quite know what he was talking about, he was still a bit baffled.
“I just thought it was a bit of a stretch to say we’re the most favoured of all the liquors out there, but I think it’s true,” he said.
The man said the number of Irish drinkers who said they wanted to go to an Irish whisky bar in the UK was “almost certainly” the highest he had heard.
He also said the drink had a “unique, Irish flavour”, something that was a “great contrast” to the “British” type of whisky.
“It’s really a British whisky.
You can’t really do anything to the spirit,” he added.
It wasn’t just the drink that was distinctive, however.
A recent survey by the National Society of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence found that a third of respondents said they liked the taste of Irish whisky, with only three people claiming it was “very different”.
The study also found that people had a preference for the type of liquor they preferred.
For example, when asked which they preferred in a drink, 46 per cent of those who said their favourite drink was Irish said vodka, 38 per cent said gin and just 14 per cent each for gin and brandies.
Another survey also found the “most preferred” liquor for those surveyed was whiskey, with 56 per cent claiming it.
While Irish whiskey has traditionally been marketed to people from the UK, it’s also sold to a wider range of people, with a total of about 5 million bottles sold in the last decade.
For all these reasons, Irish whiskey is being targeted by whisky producers and distillers, who are hoping the drink will become a popular choice.
A spokesperson for the Distillers Association of Ireland (DAI), a trade body that represents distillors in Ireland, said the organisation was “not at all surprised” by the latest research.
“Irish whiskey has been around for so long, but we are constantly being targeted for what we are doing to our industry.
It just makes it so much more exciting for us,” said DAI chief executive James MacDonnell.”
It has to be part of our DNA.
You cannot ignore that there is such a passion in the Irish market for Irish whiskey.
It is very much a part of who we are.”
Irish whiskey distiller Jim Byrne said he believed the focus on Irish whiskey was a sign of things to come.
“It’s something that’s been a long time coming, and it’s been good for the business,” he told the BBC.
“We’re hoping that with the right marketing and a strong focus on what we do, we’ll see a great resurgence of Irish whiskies in the future.”