The economic recession has hit whisky sales in South Korea. In the first ten months of the year sales of 0.5-litre bottles of whisky fell by 7.9% year-on-year to 48.61m bottles, the local press reported today.

The press sources also said that the five most popular brands of whisky were monopolising the market, amounting to 74.2% (36.06m bottles) of total whisky sales in the country. The most popular brand is Jinro Ballantines' premium Imperial Classic with a 26% stake in the market.

Second is Diageo Korea's premium whisky Winsor 12 with 13.6% share. The remaining three of the big five are Lotte Chilsung Beverage's premium Scotch Blue (13.4%), Diageo Korea's super-premium Winsor 17 (12.5%) and its fellow premium Dimple 12 (8.6%).