Exports of Scotch whisky hit record levels last year, according to HM Revenue and Customs.
Volumes rose 1.6% in 2017 and overseas sales rose in value by 8.9% to £4,360 million.
Whisky accounted for more than a fifth of all UK food and drink exports, with the equivalent of 1,230 million bottles sold worldwide.
The increase in value relative to volume was driven by growth of 14.2% in single malts, with exports of £1,170 million.
The United States remains the leading destination for Scotch, with exports to that country up by 7.7% to 922 million. This was followed by France, up 2.1% to £433 million; Singapore, up 29.4% to £291 million; Germany, up 13.5% at £184m and Spain, up 5.2% at £175 million.
Kenneth Gibson MSP commented:
“Scotch whisky is not just a huge part of Scotland's national identity and heritage, it is also a fundamental part of our export economy.
“More than 30% of exports are to the European Union. It is therefore vital that the UK Government secures a transition that allows frictionless trade to continue while the industry establishes new trading relationships around the world.”
“The UK Government must secure the best trading condition possible with Europe whilst pursuing key markets around the world, tackling barriers to trade, and bolstering the legal protection of the Scotch Whisky brand.”
The whisky industry supports more than 40,000 jobs across the UK, 7,000 of which are in rural and island Scotland. Arran Distillery is doing so well, another is being built at Lagg in the south of the island.