Irish launch big whiskey push in Hong Kong

Hong Kong residents love their whiskey, offering opportunity for Irish distillers

Hong Kong is a great city for whiskey. In August this year, a full set of 54 bottles of Hanyu Ichiro's Card Series of whiskies went on sale, and one bottle of 1960 Karuizawa sold for $HK918,750 (€108,997) at Bonhams in Hong Kong on Friday, a record for a Japanese whisky.

It’s clearly a market the Irish are out to exploit and a number of Irish distilleries were represented at the eighth HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair (November 5th-7th).

"Hong Kong is fast becoming a global hub for wine and spirits, underpinned by the removal of duty on imports of wine," said Ireland's Consul General, Peter Ryan.

Among the whiskey companies involved were Cooley, Jameson, Glendalough and West Cork distilleries.


"Last year, whiskey imports to Hong Kong grew by 40 per cent and I believe that there is an excellent opportunity to expand Irish whiskey sales to Hong Kong, which is often described as the shop window for China. The presence of an Irish whiskey stand at this year's fair is the beginning of a major push by the Consulate in this area," he said.

Niall Sean Murray, chairman of the Irish Chamber of Commerce of Macau (ICCM), said that the casino capital is also a potentially a big market for whiskey.

"We intend to build the largest and rarest selection of Irish whiskeys here in Asia, represent more brands, provide tasting flights and conduct whiskey events on a continuous basis, plus continue distributing to the major casinos, bars and retail shops in Macau and beyond," he said.