With its amber color and strong taste, whiskey is one of the most consumed spirits across the world. It’s an extremely versatile beverage. It can be enjoyed with a cigar as a country club drink and it can also be an ingredient in a summer cocktail. Furthermore, during the Spanish flu era, whiskey was excessively used as a medicine. Some people still drink whiskey for a cold. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the wholesale whiskey industry. We’ll discuss what’s the difference between bulk and wholesale whiskey, what are the main types of the amber drink, and what businesses buy wholesale whiskey. This article is part of our series on wholesale drinks. You can read more on topics like wholesale water, juice from concentrate vs juice fresh, or wholesale tequila.
What Is the Difference Between Wholesale and Bulk Whiskey
Just like bulk wholesale wine, bulk whiskey refers to the drink before it has been bottled. It can be transported in large containers such as barrels or tanks. Even though the restaurant industry usually buys bottled whiskey, it might be more beneficial for other businesses to buy it in bulk. For example, manufacturers of canned whiskey-based beverages might partner with suppliers of bulk whiskey and soda wholesale distributors. On the other hand, bars, nightclubs, and food service companies are far more likely to purchase wholesale whiskey in bottles.
Most Popular Types of Whiskey
The whiskey market is vast and offers enjoyers of the amber drink a wide range of flavors. There are different categories of whiskey. Some of them are very popular and restaurants often purchase them from wholesale whiskey distributors. Let’s dive a little deeper into the main types of whiskey.
- Scotch whiskey. That’s whiskey made in Scotland. There are two general types of scotch: single malt and blended. Single malt scotch means it’s made from 100% malted barley in a single distillery. Blended scotch whiskey might include both malt and grain varieties and it’s often made from different distilleries and blended afterwards. Scotch whiskey brands from different regions of Scotland have different tastes. For example, Islay single malts are very earthy and smoky.
- Irish whiskey. The other most popular type of whiskey from the other side of the Atlantic. Its main characteristics are smoothness (due to the triple distillation process) and lightness. Irish whiskeys are on the sweeter side. Notes like honey, apple, cinnamon, and vanilla are common for them.
- Bourbon. It’s a strictly regulated beverage. For a whiskey to be called bourbon, it needs to answer to certain standards like place of distillery, types of barrels, and corn content used in the distillation process. These factors make it one of the sweetest options in the whiskey world.
- Tennessee whiskey. Similar to bourbon, there are regulations as to what whiskey can be called Tennessee whiskey. The main difference compared to bourbon is the fact that Tennessee whiskey is filtered through maple charcoal. Jack Daniel’s is the most recognized brand in that category. Nightclubs often buy wholesale Jack Daniel’s and wholesale energy drinks as the two combine very well in terms of taste.
- Rye whiskey. Mostly popular in the US and Canada. These robust and spicy whiskeys are often used for cocktail mixing. Manhattan and Old Fashioned are two cocktails that are often made with rye whiskey.
- Japanese whiskey. Inspired by scotch, these whiskeys can have a wide range of flavors and styles. Japanese distilleries rely a lot on craftsmanship and quality.
Key takeaway: Many businesses buy spirits from wholesale whiskey and liquor suppliers. The most consumed types of whiskey are Scotch, Irish, bourbon, and Tennessee whiskey.
What Businesses Buy Wholesale Whiskey
The main advantage of buying wholesale products is that they come at a lower price per unit. Besides the better wholesale price, another reason to find suppliers is the fact that they offer a wide range of products. They often import wholesale whiskeys from all around the world.
Nevertheless, there are drawbacks to working with wholesale suppliers. One of them is that distributors have minimum order quantities. Ergo, a business risks overstocking on whiskey. That’s why smaller businesses will sometimes work directly with distilleries. That way, they have better control over their storage. Let’s see some of the industries that often purchase wholesale whiskey.
Bars and Restaurants
These establishments often purchase different brands of the amber spirit. That’s why they might choose to work directly with wholesale whiskey distributors. These businesses often work with suppliers that can deliver not just spirits, but also soft drinks, coffee, tea, beer, or wholesale champagne. That’s especially true for bars that specialize in whiskeys like tasting rooms. They often organize events such as workshops or classes related to the beloved drink.
Hotels and Country Clubs
As whiskey is one of the most popular spirits, it’s consumed by hotel guests and visitors of private clubs. Luxurious establishments often have whiskey lounges where guests can enjoy their preferred whiskey with a cigar.
Even though whiskey distilleries produce the drink, they might also be on the buyer's side. Companies that make blended whiskey often mix their products with whiskey from other distilleries. That way they can alter the taste and characteristics before bottling.
Liquor stores and other retailers will often buy large quantities of whiskey to offer at their locations. Some eCommerce websites also offer different types of whiskey. There are also subscription box options and gift websites that offer custom gifts for whiskey enthusiasts.
Frequently Asked Questions about Wholesale Whiskey
As the whiskey world is full of flavors and tastes, a lot of businesses and individuals might have questions on the topic of wholesale whiskey. Below we’ve given answers to some of the most common questions related to the topic.
How to Properly Store Whiskey?
Just like wine, whiskey should be stored upright. That prevents the cork from drying and negatively impacting the flavor. Additionally, wholesale whiskey barrels and bottles must be kept away from direct sunlight and at a constant temperature between 60°F and 70°F. The storage area should be moderately humid, ideally around 60-70%. Even if the whiskey is stored in perfect conditions, if the bottle is opened, it can change its characteristics due to oxidation. In order to prevent that from happening, whiskey enthusiasts might use a vacuum pump or inert gas spray to preserve opened bottles.
Can You Private Label Whiskey?
Yes. There are distilleries that produce bulk wholesale whiskey and can offer white label services. That way businesses can offer whiskey with their own brand without having to go through the whole licensing process and acquiring distillery equipment and staff.
What Are the Most Popular Cocktails with Whiskey?
Whiskey enthusiasts usually prefer their drink neat or on the rocks. However, there are many cocktails that have the amber spirit as their main ingredient. The most popular whiskey cocktails are the Old Fashioned, Manhattan, and Whiskey Sour. The beverage industry benefits a lot from the fact that whiskey is one of the beloved spirits of many people. There are multiple ready-to-drink canned whiskey beverages. One of the most popular ones is Jack and Coke. There are other producers that buy bulk juice and wholesale liquor and offer delicious cocktails.
Does Whiskey Age in Bottles?
No, whiskey doesn’t age after it’s poured into bottles. Unlike wine, which changes its characteristics in the bottle, whiskey ages in barrels. Sometimes distilleries change the barrels during the aging process in order to add new flavors and notes to the spirit. During the aging process, some brands pour the whiskey into already-used barrels. That creates unique characteristics and tastes.