While Asia loves beer, some moments call for something a little harder.
Some fans of spirits enjoy learning about the histories of various distilleries, understanding the intracacies of production processes and training their palates to savour complex flavour profiles. And at the other extreme, some people subscribe to the point of view that 'wine is fine but liquor's quicker'.
The latter type seems to be pretty rare in Asia, where people mostly prefer drinks that are meant to be measured out by finger-widths. According to a Forbes article published just last week, at a recent Sotheby's auction of whiskey and rare spirits, 80% of the buyers were Asian (and 60% were under the age of 40). It's normal, at least in the opinion of one Sotheby's spokesperson, for people to open bottles that cost more than $50,000 on an average evening at home. And in June, according to the same report, Sotheby's sold 24 bottles of China's popular Kweichow Moutai liquor for a record $1.4 million.
While most people aren't making such extravagant purchases, this report about Asia's most popular spirits brands underscores the regional preference for drinks one sips and considers—rather than mixes into cocktails. On the lists that follow, you'll find precious few vodkas, rums, gins or tequilas. In Asia, it's all about the cognacs, whiskys and bourbons (although in China, it's also about the baijiu).
The following facts about Asia's favourite spirits/liquor brands are derived from the 2021 edition of Campaign Asia-Pacific's exclusive Asia's Top 1000 Brands research, done in partnership with Nielsen IQ. The region's most comprehensive research on consumer brand perception, Asia's Top 1000 Brands asks consumers in 14 Asia-Pacific markets to name the brands they consider the best in 15 major product and service categories. From this, we compile the overall Asia's Top 1000 Brands ranking, a list of the top 100 brands in each market, and a variety of features and category-based reports like this one.
Without further ado...
ASIA'S TOP 10 SPIRITS/LIQUOR BRANDS
|* These Chinese brands benefitted from a methodology change this year, which gave more weight than before to the input of respondents in China.|
DRINK IN THESE DATA POINTS
Enjoy more shots of knowledge about Asia's favourite liquor brands, across the region and in specific markets.
Specific markets where Johnnie Walker walks in front of the pack:
Other market-specific No. 1 brands:
- Asahi (Japan)
- Ballantine's (Korea)
- Chivas (Indonesia and Vietnam)
- Hennessy (Hong Kong)
- Jim Beam (New Zealand)
- Kweichow Moutai (China)
- Royal Stag (India)
- San Miguel (Philippines)
Market-specific No. 2 brands:
- Chivas (Hong Kong, Thailand)
- Hennessy (Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam)
- Jack Daniel's (Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand)
- Johnnie Walker (India, Korea, Philippines, New Zealand)
- Martell (Singapore)
- Sapporo (Japan)
- Wuliangye (China)
Singular appeal - Brands that crack the top 10 in only one market:
- 42 Below Vodka (No. 4 in New Zealand)
- Asahi (No. 1 in Japan)
- Bombay Sapphire (No. 6 in New Zealand)
- ChangYu (No. 8 in China)
- Crown Royal (No. 7 in Indonesia)
- GSM Blue (No. 6 in Philippines)
- Imperial blue (No. 7 in India)
- Jian Nan Chun (No. 9 in China)
- Jinro / Chamisul (No. 3 in Korea)
- Kinmen Kao Liang (No. 3 in Taiwan)
- Luzhou Lao Jiao (No. 6 in China)
- Mekhong (No. 10 in Thailand)
- Meridian (No. 6 in Taiwan)
- Monkey Shoulder (No. 10 in Taiwan)
- Kweichow Moutai (No. 1 in China)
- National Cellar 1573 (No. 4 in China)
- Nikka (No. 9 in Vietnam)
- Novellino (No. 5 in Philippines)
- Old Monk (No. 3 in India)
- Regency (No. 5 in Thailand)
- Royal Challenge (No. 4 in India)
- Royal Stag (No. 1 in India)
- San Miguel (No. 1 in Philippines)
- SangSom (No. 5 in Thailand)
- Sapporo (No. 2 in Japan)
- Tanduay (No. 8 in Philippines)
- Wuliangye (No. 2 in China)
Brands 11-20 across the region (alphabetical order):
- Jim Beam
- The Macallan
- Moet & Chandon
- Red Horse
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Top 10: Asia-Pacific's favourite brands in specific product and service categories