The ‘Mad Men Effect’ that boosted whisky sales last year may be on the rocks.

After a strong performance last year, when the TV show’s work-hard, play-hard characters were credited with helping push malt whisky sales up 8.8% in volume, the category has been scotched by a 12.7% fall [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 10 June 2012].

Industry experts said this showed the market was returning to normal after last year’s boom.

“Mad Men provided a stimulus, but I imagine the scenario was people buying one bottle - and that lasting for over a year,” said Wilson Drinks Report MD Tim Wilson.

Scotch export sales hit a record £4.23bn in 2011.