The Korea Alcohol and Liquor Industry Association (KALIA) has revealed that sales of super-premium whisky aged over 17 years shot up during the past year by some 254.8% to 304,682 cases. KALIA said the rise had taken place in spite of the economic turndown seen in the country.

The rise in super-premium sales contrasted with the fortunes of the standard sector. Sales of whisky under 12 years fell by 28.7% to 227,307 cases. Sales of premium whisky, aged between 12 to 17 years, were up by 16.7% to 2.66 million cases, representing 83.4% of the total whisky market, 16% higher than last year.

Total whisky sales grew by 23.5% to 1.13 trillion won. In volume terms, sales were up by 18% to 3.19 million cases.

The largest player is Seagram Korea Co with a market share of 31.7%. Jinro Ballentine's (JBC) is the second largest company with a 30.3% share. Hiscot Co. and Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co. are the third and fourth largest companies with market shares of 22.1% and 9% respectively.