How South Korea became the world’s fastest-growing whisky market

High taxes may be a barrier to growth, but producers still feel that there is scope to target the country’s image-conscious young drinkers

A whisky tasting event in Seoul: South Koreans are increasingly interested in the spirit. Picture: Bloomberg

For Choi Gyu-Won, a 29-year-old Korean in a small village in South Gyeongsang, drinking whisky at home is a way to experience the good life on a budget.

“After tasting highballs at a bar, I decided to make them myself,” Choi said. He makes his own cocktail of soda, ice and whisky with Jack Daniel’s or Suntory Kakubin, which sells for about $35 (€32) a bottle in South Korea including taxes.

While that’s still cheaper ...