Around the World in 80 Trades: The Whisky Barrel

Around the World in 80 Trades: The Whisky Barrel

Specialist online whisky store The Whisky Barrel may have only went live in 2007 however it is already exporting to over 50 countries including USA, Canada, Japan and Sweden. BQ caught up with e-commerce manager Chris Brown to find out how they made it happen…

Scotch whisky’s global export volume grew by 3.1% over the first half of the year, with the equivalent of 533 million 70cl bottles shipped overseas, up from 517 million bottles in the first half of 2015.

This soaring demand for scotch from across the globe has provided a major boost not only to distillers but also to collectors and retailers across the country and The Whisky Barrel is no different.

The Whisky Barrel is a specialist online whisky store boasting a catalogue of over 3,000 single malt and blended whiskies including Scotch, American Bourbon, Japanese whisky, Irish whiskey, Indian whisky, Swedish whisky and its own exclusive single casks.

Speaking to BQ, e-commerce manager Chris Brown, said: "We ship our products worldwide to over 50 countries and are proud to be a Scottish family-owned and family-run business. We also support similar family-owned independent whisky companies with our unrivalled variety from independent whisky bottlers.

"The company was founded in 2007 by our managing director as a home business, quickly growing into warehouse premises. The business was started on the foundation of an already highly regarded and globally loved product. Based in central Scotland, the opportunity arose to provide an opportunity for customers throughout the world to access the huge array of scotch whisky, directly from Scotland."

The company now exports single malt, single grain and blended Scotch Whisky plus Japanese, Irish and American whiskies and bourbon and more recently, Scottish Gin. It exports these products all around the world including the USA, Asia, Australia and Europe.

"Selling overseas was a natural strategy given the products we specialise in," added Chris. "The market for Scotch Whisky is huge globally and the growing interest and demand for high quality whisky naturally leads people to Scotland and Scotch Whisky."

Asked what the easiest part about exporting was, Chris added: "Specialising in a product of such high quality and reputation makes exporting ‘easy’ in the sense that the customer base is already aware, keen and keen highly informed of our products. This combination of Scotch Whisky being historic and well known product and the continued work by Scotland’s many, and growing, distilleries to promote its unique character."

And the most challenging part, obviously, was keeping up with the demand!

When asked what advice he would give to businesses looking to start exporting, Chris added: "Be mindful of all rules and regulations that surround the products you export and the markets you are shipping to. Make sure you have a quality logistics partner with a door to door service who understands local customs practices."

The company now has ambitious plans and is looking to continue capitalising on the ever-booming scotch industry.

He concluded: "We aim to continue growing the company over the next five years in a similar fashion to now.

"Ensuring we are the leading online whisky shop based in Scotland and, in particular, continue to expand and develop in the markets we are already established in."

Exporting and international trade remain high on the Scottish Government’s economic growth agenda and the Scottish Export Awards, in association with Scottish Enterprise, are about recognising the excellence in those emerging, wealth creating companies that are selling their products, services and expertise in scores of overseas markets.

To book your ticket for the awards, click here.