Irish whiskey sales increased 28 per cent in value in US bars and restaurants in the run-up to St Patrick's Day, according to data from market analysts Nielsen CGA.
The traditional annual upsurge in whiskey drinking around March 17th comes as Irish whiskey enjoys a 14 per cent year-on-year increase in the value of sales in the US on-trade market.
The category has undergone phenomenal growth in the US over the past decade and a half. Some 3.8 million cases of Irish whiskey were sold in the US in 2016, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the US, compared to 434,000 cases in 2002.
"The US is Irish whiskey's biggest export market and is expected to play an important role in Ireland reaching its export and tourism targets in the future," said Miriam Mooney, head of the Irish Whiskey Association.
One in four visitors to Irish distilleries are from the US.