It has been revealed that single malt Scotch whisky has reached £1bn worth of exports for the first time in 2016.
The leading brands include Talisker, Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, the Macallan, Jura, Laphroaig and Highland Park. Exports account for around 93% of production.
Figures issued this month by HM Revenue and Customs trade shows the amount of pure spirit exported as single malt in 2016 was equivalent to 113m standard bottles at 40% strength.
The total value of Scotch whisky exported from the UK last year reached £3.999bn. That was a rise from £3.845bn in 2015. The previous three years were above £4bn, peaking in 2012 at £4.283bn.
The total value of single malt exports reached £1.02bn, up from £914m in 2015. It now represents nearly 10% of the volume of Scotch exported, and more than 25% of its value.
The USA remained the biggest market for the value of sales, rising from £749m to £854m.
France remained the biggest importer of Scotch by volume, with 189m bottles. The value of sales in France was £424m, of which single malts made up £153m.
Other major markets for Scotch include India. It has high trade barriers to bottled Scotch, but the country's distillers import large quantities in bulk, for mixing with "Indian-made foreign liquor."
The value of exports to India was up from £85m in 2015 to £96m last year.
As well as the world-renowned Talisker Distillery, Skye is home to the Torabhaig Distillery in Sleat, which is expected to open to the public this year.
Work is also progressing on the Isle of Raasay's groundbreaking distillery, which is expected to open to the public in summer 2017.