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With the new Playboy-branded vodka & tequila ready to launch this Fall, it’s a good time to look at the premium spirits category.

It’s a good time to be in the category: growth has been exceptional.

According to this article, overall the U.S. bourbon market grew 13.2% with super-premium bourbons up an astonishing 79.5%.1 It doesn’t stop there: super premium rum sales were up 91% versus an anemic 2.5% for the spirit’s overall market. Not to be left behind, super premium liqueurs and cordials rose 21.1%.

The rise can be attributed in part to the spread of micro-distilleries selling small batch spirits, often with an organic, local or other distinctive quality that hits consumers in the right way. The “cocktail culture” is also back with a vengeance, in part due to shows like TV’s retro “Mad Men” and a slew of new books, mixologists and clubs devoted to fun drinks. One of the ironies of this development is seeing spirits costing upwards of $50 a bottle being mixed with beverages that mask the distinctive flavor.


1. Source: Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.