The profile of the modern-day whisky drinker has been revealed and – despite what you might think – it’s not an older person from Scotland.

UK-wide research from YouGov reveals Northerner’s palates are refined enough to appreciate Scotland’s national spirit earlier than you might expect – and even before Scots – with 74% of whisky drinkers stating that they started to enjoy whisky before the age of 30 (compared to 58% of Scots).

Unexpectedly, it seems Scots take five years to catch up with those further south in appreciating the country’s national spirit. The study shows the highest proportion of whisky drinkers in Scotland started to enjoy whisky at the age of 30 (17%), compared to the Northerners who started five years earlier at 25 (13%).

The first in a series of studies from a Scottish distillery driving the conversation around Scotch, Fettercairn commissioned the research to provide an insightful view – and a new perspective – on whisky gifting this Christmas.

The key takeaway? Don’t go mainstream – just 2% of those surveyed in the North said they’d appreciate being given a mainstream blended whisky in their stocking.

Fettercairn, which was one of the first licensed whisky distilleries in Scotland, pinpoints what whisky fans in the North of England actually hope to receive this Christmas and exploration is in the air.

Modern day whisky lovers in the North  stated that they hoped to find ‘a whisky with a unique flavour profile’ (40%) or ‘a whisky they’ve never tried before’ (35%) under their Christmas tree.

Stewart Walker, Distillery Manager at Fettercairn said: “There is still an age-old (excuse the pun) stereotype around who drinks whisky and our research proves that a fine single malt is no longer just a gift for your grandparents.

“It’s great to see people looking for something a little bit different this Christmas and, with an ingenious approach to crafting whisky, Fettercairn makes for the perfect present for the whisky curious and connoisseur alike.”

Taking the stress out of Christmas shopping, Fettercairn’s wholly unique production process offers a floral and tropical flavoured whisky like no other.

The distillery’s innovative copper cooling ring distillation process, which remains exclusive to Fettercairn, drenches the stills in clear mountain water from the Cairngorms, ensuring only the finest vapours rise for collection during each distillation.

Fettercairn’s range includes the 12 Year Old and 28 Year Old alongside a treasure trove of aged stocks.

Fettercairn 12 Year Old is available in specialist whisky stores nationwide, as well as online through Waitrose and Amazon.