The South African whisky market grew by an estimated 16.2% in 2007 to over 3.5m cases. According to The IWSR's South Africa Wine and Spirits 2008 report, growth was largely driven by Jameson, Jack Daniels and Johnnie Walker.

South Africa has become a key market for Pernod Ricard's Jameson brand and Brown-Forman's Jack Daniels, as for both it is now the fifth largest market globally. South Africa is close to reaching the number four spot for each brand as South African sales of Jameson's are on the point of overtaking those in France and Jack Daniel's sales in South Africa are set to outnumber Spain's.

Market leader Bells and J&B - both owned by Diageo - also performed well, as did Distell's inexpensive South African ad-mix Harrier, and E. Snell's Canadian whisky Firstwatch.

Malt Scotch is developing quickly from its small base, growing by 28% last year, the report notes, as South Africans trade up to premium spirits. Independent producer E. Snell has over 50% share of the malt Scotch market in the country.

Another hot brand on the South African market is Jaegermeister, distributed by Douglas Green, whose 'Jaggi Bomb' cocktail has become a popular choice among university students and helped the brand to cross the 100,000 cases mark for the first time.