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It’s easy to forget that whiskey—one of the greatest things mankind has ever produced—is a business like any other. For every success story like Maker’s Mark, there’s a sad tale of some hopelessly uncool sauce (have you ever had J&B not at an open bar wedding?)

To keep the stills running, whiskey companies diversify. But it’s astonishing to see that, according to this handy infographic (click to enlarge), our brand loyalty comes down to basically chemical conglomerates that have almost no relation to what brings our loyalties (nationality, pride) to the product.

For example, how did the Japanese get all our Bourbon?

Ten years ago it may have been unladylike to sip a Singleton with the fellas or unmanly to pour your Glenlivet into a cocktail. Or simply unhuman to shoot Fireball down your throat, straight from the bottle. Markets change. Booze is eternal.

Let’s think of Brown-Forman as the US, DIAGEO is the English, Pernod the French and Suntory the Japanese. And dividing up the world’s whisky/whiskeys is the final negotiation on the treaties that will end WWII.

The Americans have Bukowski swill Early Times and Jack Daniels. Our only Bourbons are Knob Creek and Woodford Reserve. The Japanese have almost the entire portfolio. Other than the English who have colonized Bulleit.

They also won’t give Scotland it’s independence and they control everything from Dimple Pinch to the aforementioned J&B. Also, ye mighty lads of Ireland, Bushmills is the only English-controlled Irish Whiskey (one time back in the homeland I was admonished for ordering “that protestant swill” in Catholic Cork).

Meanwhile the French won’t surrender Jameson, but they turn up their noses at all American-made sauce and all but forgot about the Canadian whiskys of Francophone Quebec. Mon dieu!

Companies need this diversity for the same reason there are so many goddamn kinds of carbonated corn syrup. They have lots of bottles and crates and barrels and payroll to keep filled. And when it takes 8 years to age your bottom barrel product, you can’t afford to ride the latest trend. But you might fear it.

Ten years ago it may have been unladylike to sip a Singleton with the fellas or unmanly to pour your Glenlivet into a cocktail. Or simply unhuman to shoot Fireball down your throat, straight from the bottle. Markets change. Booze is eternal.

Note: If you’re a little unnerved about how many spots on your liver are from these four legions that think they really won the war, try some of the indies. There’s good old family owned Town Branch Rye and Pearse Lyons reserve. Cozy up with a Poague or Willett. These are family owned, made on equipment older than the locomotive and distilled with passion by red-blooded ’Mericans.

They’re good people to know if the markets shift again, because in about eight years they will surely be sitting on some tasty barrels.