The Dramming.com Whisky Survey Part 2 – Analysis

by Oliver Klimek on December 8, 2013

First and foremost I have to apologize for the long time it took to take deeper look inside the Whisky Survey data. But apart from being rather busy with my daytime job this also coincided with me tasting a lot of blind samples fot the Malt Maniacs Awards, so I had to set my priorities.

While the overview only showed the raw answers to the questions, in this part I will be looking at the information about several interesting topics that can be gathered by combining several questions. Very small subsets could not be considered because of the low statistical significance. For example I would have liked to include gender in the analysis but there were simply too few women who took the survey. The analysis only gives full percent numbers because the groups were often too small for decimal places to be significant.

1. Geekiness

One of the major results of the survey was that less then 1% of participants considered themselves to be casual whisky drinkers. About 10% were professionals, the rest were either “interested” (33.6%) or “geeks” (55.8%). Let’s ignore casuals and profesisonals now and examine how the relation between “interested” and “geeks” changes with different parameters. Overall this is 31 vs. 69 percent.

Age

  • 18 to 29:     37% vs. 63%
  • 30 to 39:     35% vs. 65%
  • 40 to 49:     34% vs. 66%
  • 50 to 59:     46% vs. 54%
  • 60 to 69:     60% vs. 40%

Education

  • Academic:   38% vs. 62%
  • Advanced:   36% vs. 64%
  • Medium:      37% vs. 63 %

Household income

  • Below €25000:             43% vs. 57%
  • €25000 to €50000:       43% vs. 57%
  • €50000 to €100000:     30% vs. 69%
  • Over €100000:             30% vs. 70%

Nationality

  • Canada:                  18% vs. 82%
  • Scandinavia:           31% vs. 69%
  • USA:                       32% vs. 68%
  • Western Europe:    38% vs. 62%
  • UK:                          59% vs. 41%

Some interesting trends can be noticed here. Geekiness is definitely correlated to age, the younger, the geekier. Under 50 years the difference between the age brackets is not very big, but there is a strong drop for older ages. Education is not an influence factor, but income is indeed. This is likely because people who have more money have a bigger opportunity to explore more of the whisky world.

And there are some nice surprises regarding the nationality. There sure are a lot of anoraks in Canada while the UK is the only region where “interested” whisky drinkers outnumber the geeks.

2. Favourite Brand

Now let’s see if there are any things that influence if whisky drinkers have a favourite brand.

Age

  • 18 to 29:    34%
  • 30 to 39:    40%
  • 40 to 49:    38%
  • 50 to 59:    43%
  • 60 to 69:    25%

Education

  • Academic:  42%
  • Advanced:  27%
  • Medium:     39%

Household income

  • Below €25000:            30%
  • €25000 to €50000:      43%
  • €50000 to €100000:    33%
  • Over €100000:            45%

Nationality

  • Canada:                 28%
  • UK:                         36%
  • USA:                      39%
  • Western Europe:   42%
  • Scandinavia:          44%

Interest

  • Interested:       35%
  • Geek/Anorak:  39%
  • Professional:   40%

Although the numbers differ quite a bit within the brackets, no real trends can be seen here.

3. Preference for Single Malts

Scotch single malt dominated the question about the preferred whisky type. Is this a general phenomon or are there influences?

Age

  • 18 to 29:    70%
  • 30 to 39:    63%
  • 40 to 49:    68%
  • 50 to 59:    69%
  • 60 to 69:    88%

Education

  • Academic:  67%
  • Advanced:  68%
  • Medium:     70%

Household income

  • Below €25000:            73%
  • €25000 to €50000:      66%
  • €50000 to €100000:    67%
  • Over €100000:            67%

Nationality

  • Canada:                 70%
  • USA:                      60%
  • UK:                         58%
  • Western Europe:   76%
  • Scandinavia:          84%

Interest

  • Interested:      76%
  • Geek/Anorak: 67%
  • Professional:  52%

Two interesting trends can be noticed. Western Europe and Scandinavia are crazy for single malts, Canada not quite as much. The UK and the USA are trailing this list with similar percentages. But of course there is also good support for bourbon from the Americans whereas in Britan most of the rest specified no favourite whisky type.

And the deeper the involvement with whisky is, the lower the preference for single malts. This may tell a story about predjudices that single malts are the pinnacle of whisky making and others types are sub par which soften with growing experience.

4. Collecting Whisky

35.6% of the participants collect whisky, in part also for investment. Here is the statistical breakdown:

Age

  • 18 to 29:    32%
  • 30 to 39:    35%
  • 40 to 49:    41%
  • 50 to 59:    34%
  • 60 to 69:    25%

Education

  • Academic:  34%
  • Advanced:  41%
  • Medium:     34%

Household income

  • Below €25000:            43%
  • €25000 to €50000:      34%
  • €50000 to €100000:    41%
  • Over €100000:            37%

Nationality

  • Canada:                 38%
  • USA:                      32%
  • UK:                         36%
  • Western Europe:   34%
  • Scandinavia:          42%

Interest

  • Interested:      24%
  • Geek/Anorak: 41%
  • Professional:  46%

We can clearly see that whisky collecting is very much correlated to the personal interest in whisky, which is not very surprising. Whisky profesisonals are twice as likely to also have a whisky collection as people who are only interested. But whisky collecting is also an age thing which likely has to do with the amount of time you have been interested in whisky.

What is quite surprising is that there is no real correlation with income. Even if you live on a budget, you can collect whisky.

5. Whisky Budget

Some people give themselves a budget for buying whisky. The overall percentage is 23.7%

Age

  • 18 to 29:    31%
  • 30 to 39:    26%
  • 40 to 49:    21%
  • 50 to 59:    17%
  • 60 to 69:    17%

Education

  • Academic:  24%
  • Advanced:  28%
  • Medium:     13%

Household income

  • Below €25000:            30%
  • €25000 to €50000:      25%
  • €50000 to €100000:    25%
  • Over €100000:            20%

Nationality

  • Canada:                 35%
  • USA:                      26%
  • UK:                         16%
  • Western Europe:   23%
  • Scandinavia:          22%

Interest

  • Interested:      20%
  • Geek/Anorak: 30%
  • Professional:   5%

Giving yourself a whisky budget is strongly related to age and income. The younger you are and the less, you earn the more likely you are to have a whisky budget. It is quite striking the Eurpeans are less likely to have a budget than Americans.

The high number of geeks and low number of professionals with a whisky budget is another interesting result. Not surprisingly, as an amateur whisky anorak you run the highest risk of spending too much of your disposable income on whisky. Professionals who are surrounded by whisky all the time anyway obviously are stronger in resisting the temptations.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jan van den Ende December 8, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Hello Oliver!

Very interesting results. Well Done. Thanks for all the work you have put into this!

Cheers!

Jan

Reply

Josh Feldman December 9, 2013 at 2:28 am

Obviously the people who would take this poll would tend to be readers of your blog – which is a big filter for whisky geekiness right there!

Fascinating stuff, Oliver!

Reply

Oliver Klimek December 9, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Yes, I have already speculated about this influence in the overview part.

Reply

two-bit cowboy December 9, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Most interesting survey and analysis. Thanks for putting this together.

Nice interview on Mark’s WhiskyCast yesterday! Thanks, too, for that insight.

Bob

Reply

Mike Phillips December 10, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Great insight and very interesting! My thanks as well for putting this together.

Reply

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