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Last Updated: Monday, 20 December, 2004, 10:07 GMT
Whisky chiefs toast record sales
Famous Grouse
The company is celebrating a dram good Christmas
Bosses of the country's top selling dram are toasting the best Christmas present in the company's history.

Exports of Famous Grouse broke previous records, increasing in October and November by 16% year-on-year.

The 200-year-old brand is now poised for its most successful Christmas after breaking through the three million case barrier.

A spokesman said the Scotch is "setting the heather alight" in markets across the world.

The brand is set for its best annual figures, as sales soared 12% in the past year.

The brand is the fastest growing blended Scotch in the USA
Gerry O'Donnell
Famous Grouse

Christmas traditionally accounts for almost 40% of Scotch sold each year in the UK.

Britain is the biggest market for the Famous Grouse, but in Portugal 25% more bottles were sold compared with the same period last year.

Spokesman Gerry O'Donnell said: "This is largely due to the fashionability and premium image of the brand, which is particularly popular with the 30-plus age group.

"In Taiwan, the recent launch of a new Famous Grouse malt range is proving extremely exciting. The brand is also the fastest growing blended Scotch in the USA."

Lot of bottle

In addition, figures show sales of the whisky are second only to Malibu among duty free shoppers.

Jack McConnell last year opened in Glasgow what was described as the country's fastest bottling plant, operated by the Edrington Group which produces the Famous Grouse.

The first minister said at the time: "Scotland's whisky industry is one of the most important elements of our economy, and its global reputation as one of the world's leading drinks is stronger than ever before."

Sales of the Famous Grouse first topped one million in 1979 and 10 years later the distillers exported two million cases.

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