just-drinks authors and correspondents

Amy Hopkins

Columns by Amy Hopkins

Comment - Spirits (Dark) - On the Rocks, with Amy HopkinsComment - Spirits (Dark) - On the Rocks, with Amy Hopkins

Spirits commentator Amy Hopkins keeps a check on the dark spirits category, featuring, whisky/whiskey, Cognac, brandy, aged rum et al.

Articles by Amy Hopkins

Scotch whisky - particularly single malt - has plenty to worry about in the USWhy Scotch whisky could take years to rebound in the US - comment 9 February 2021

A protracted trade dispute has blocked single malt Scotch whisky's access to the all-important US market at a time when the category desperately needs to demonstrate its relevance. As trends rapidly accelerate, this lack of visibility could damage Scotch for years to come, warns spirits commentator Amy Hopkins.

What does 2021 have in store for aged spirits?What's coming up in aged spirits in 2021? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - comment 14 January 2021

This month, our category commentators are lining up to share with us their thoughts on how 2021 will shape their respective sectors. Here's our aged spirits expert, Amy Hopkins, with her take on the year ahead.

Whyte & Mackay Light, which launched last year, is one of the more high-profile ventures into the no- & low-alcohol segment in aged spiritsWhy aged spirits should be wary of opaque low- & no-alcohol trend - comment 10 November 2020

The seemingly-unstoppable rise of the low- & no-alcohol movement has resulted in an abundance of new brands and line extensions. But, Amy Hopkins warns, aged spirits would do well to tread carefully, lest they lose the consumer's trust and respect.

Why the latest sexism row will be a watershed moment for whisky - comment 15 October 2020

The recent campaign against Jim Murray's 'Whisky Bible' has shone a light on sexism in whisky, and there's no turning it off now. Brands will need to take a proactive, as opposed to merely reactive, stance to show that their condemnation of misogyny and commitment to inclusivity goes beyond lip service, says Amy Hopkins.

Online spirits tastings have proved highly successful during lockdownHow COVID is opening up aged spirits to a whole new world - comment 17 September 2020

The dizzying rise of digital communication and purchasing brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has the potential to revolutionise the aged spirits market in the long term. Category commentator Amy Hopkins explains.

The resurgence of RTDs and the arrival of hard seltzers offers an opportunity for dark spirits brands - just ask DiageoWhy RTDs could spur the next wave of growth for whisky - comment 13 August 2020

The ready-to-drink category has emerged as the unlikely hero of the drinks world. Whisky - particularly Scotch - has been slow to capitalise on the trend, but a wealth of planned NPD could offer a lifeline for a segment that has famously struggled to connect with a younger audience. Category commentator Amy Hopkins investigates.

Heritage is holding spirits brands back from progress - comment 16 July 2020

The Black Lives Matter movement has forced the drinks industry to take a long, hard look in the mirror. For this reflection to turn into long-term action and progress, however, it's time whisky and rum brand owners reassess their blind loyalty to heritage, writes Amy Hopkins.

The craft segment of the whisky/whiskey category is taking a batteringWhy craft whisky/whiskey will never be the same again - comment 11 June 2020

The craft whisk(e)y industry is trapped in a vice, with pressure from the coronavirus pandemic and retaliatory tariffs deepening the cracks that have existed for some time. In her debut for just-drinks, dark spirits category commentator Amy Hopkins forecasts that the road to recovery will be long and hard, and only the strong will survive.

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