In what may come as a surprise, France is the biggest consumer of Scotch whisky in the world ahead of the UK and the US, and ahead of its famed anise-flavored, pre-dinner aperitif, pastis.
According to a newly released study out of leading wine trade fair Vinexpo, more than 14 million 9-liter cases of the whisky were sold in France in 2011, while consumption grew 10 percent over 2007.
Between 2012 and 2016, Scotch whisky consumption among the French is projected to grow 3.35 percent.
Analysts attribute the country’s surprising interest in the spirit to the wide range of whiskies that have been made available recently, catering to an equally wide range of palates from novice whisky drinkers to connoisseurs.
Meanwhile, another study published by the International Wine & Spirits Research group out of the UK found that Koreans drink the most top-range whisky -- defined as 17 years or older -- than any other country, consuming 698,000 9-liter cases of super premium whisky in 2011.
In other spirits, consumption of both vodka and bourbon also grew a whopping 47 percent between 2007 and 2011.
Conversely, consumption of gin and brandy fell in the same period.
Billed as the largest wine trade fair in the world, Vinexpo will be held in Bordeaux June 16 to 20.