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The global whisky market has been susceptible to periods of dramatic boom and bust, driven by such widely varying factors as general economic conditions, prohibition, political sanctions and grossly over-optimistic levels of production. In addition, the whisky market does not exist in isolation and is subject to competition from other spirits and pressures on discretionary leisure expenditure as a whole. Fashion plays a part in determining consumer choices and vodka in particular has been markedly successful over the last two decades in dramatically increasing its global appeal. Gin also has enjoyed great fashionability in recent years. Production of such products can respond very quickly to changes in demand, whereas whisky suffers from an inevitable lag as a result of the requirement to age the product.

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