Research has revealed that whisky connoisseurs from China are making trips to Britain to indulge in lavish alcohol spending sprees with particular focus on single malts. It has been revealed that Chinese whiskey lovers are spending up to £50,000 a time on British scotch.
One London store has revealed to The Independent that visitors from China will frequently spend thousands of pounds of aged single malts. “One buyer was frustrated that we only had three bottles of the Macallan Blue Label [a 30-year-old sherry oak malt] in stock,” said the boss of the store.
“So he asked whether he could just send his driver to the distillery to pick up some. This guy was all set to drive north of Aberdeen to grab a few bottles, until some were sourced from another store.”
Chinese tourists can save a significant amount of money by travelling to the UK to buy whiskey. Hong Kong, for example, charges 100 per cent duty of spirits entering the country, whereas tourists bringing bottles back from the UK do not typically declare it.
China has the largest number of billionaires outside of America and many Chinese people have an interest in traditional British heritage goods and whiskey is considered to be a gem of Scottish heritage.
A sales associate at another London store said: “You’d think we’d roll out the gold carpet – but it’s a really common occurrence.”
“Some customers have a good understanding of whisky and you can tell when they’re in the market for something they’ll enjoy.
“Others have an ‘expensive is better’ mentality, which suggests the bottle is more of a wealth signifier in the boardroom or wherever.”
This month, The Scotch Whiskey Association has urged the UK government to prioritise negotiating free trade deals with Brazil, India and China in a post-Brexit UK.