India ranks third on the list of the largest whisky consumers in the world. Needless to say that Indians know the best whisky brands in India along with the best ways to enjoy it. Amrut Distilleries was the first to produce whiskey from Indian malted grains in 1982. In 2018, the availability of Indian whiskies has crossed several oceans and countries because of its fine taste and premium quality.
But what do Indian whisky drinkers prefer? IMFL or whisky that has crossed oceans to reach India?
In this article we explore the favorite whisky brand of Indians and everything you need to keep in mind while buying whisky in India:
Key Takeaways of This Article
- What are the best selling whisky brands in India?
- Highest selling Indian whisky brand
- Top 10 whiskeys in the Indian Market
Here’s a List of the Most Popular and Best Whisky Brands in India
Officers choice is not just one of the most popular Indian whisky brands but also one of the largest brands in the world. Crafted with the finest ingredients, this high-quality whiskey has a market share of 40% simply because of its beautifully balanced malt blend.
Its loyalists claim that the powerful punch of caramel and cinnamon notes with every sip awakens the hidden officer inside everybody. It is best enjoyed neat or on the rocks to preserve its amazing flavor.
If you’re looking for the No 1 whisky in India that comes in the most elegant packaging, Officers Choice is the way to go!
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Rank 2 on the list is a famous Indian whisky brand that sells 53+ million cases of liquor every year. McDowell’s No.1 promises an exquisite blend of premium Indian malts and grain spirits with each of the 25+ million consumers it caters to.
Each sip is advertised to be a celebration of friendship and this brand delivers just that. The classic packaging and smooth taste makes it one of the topmost selling alcoholic drink in India. McDowell’s lovers suggest enjoying its fine taste with iced water.
8 PM has left its impact on history of Indian whisky within the first year of its launch: Over 1 million cases were sold! It’s brilliantly strong and smooth taste is what lands it on rank 3 of the top 10 whiskeys in India. You can even get 180 ml tetra packs to enjoy the lavish taste of fine quality taste of good whiskey.
Its highest selling whisky Brand status has even made it land on the Limca Book of Records. The black and gold packaging is another standout feature of 8 PM. It’s modern take on luxurious whisky at an affordable rate is what attracts whisky lovers to it as well.
Blenders Pride is rank 4 on the top alcohol brands in India with its exceptional quality and consistent taste. Seagram has spent about 140 + years in perfecting superior whisky and BP is the result of it.
Holding the reins of about 63% of market share of top whisky brands, Blenders Pride is for the confident Indian with good taste. Loyalists describe the taste as sweet notes well balanced with a smoky base made of premium Indian ingredients.
The regal packaging also shows that great whiskey even looks a class apart. Popular reviews have also stated that the hangover after consuming Blenders Pride is a very pleasant experience.
Royal Stag is an extremely popular whiskey for its blend of Indian grain spirits with Scottish malts to produce the best malt whisky. The tag line of the brand ‘Make it large’, is exactly what you’ll want to do with this top-rated whiskey.
This premium whisky brand in India stands out for not using artificial flavors; meeting for international standards and tastes. Indian loyalists describe Royal Stag as premium quality whisky at an affordable rate and prefer to consume it on the rocks.
Pernod Ricard India, one of the largest selling liquor brand produces another hit with Imperial Blue. It is crafted using the perfect blend of imported malts and Indian grain spirits and loved all over the world.
Its 17 million+ case sales in India are truly justified with its well-defined taste. Compared to the others on this list, Imperial Blue is a cheap whiskey that gives consumers premium quality.
The classic blue and gold packaging makes it look the part of the luxurious whisky it really is. Most loyalists suggest enjoying the fine taste with iced water and even enjoy the non-hangover day the following day.
Bagpiper Whisky is one of the oldest brands of whisky in India with its inception in 1976. Known for its woody tones and malty aroma, Bagpiper sells over 6 million cases in a year.
Having a very special relationship with Bollywood’s idea of heroism and purity, Bagpiper promises the best whiskey with every bottle. Also the infamous image of a Sardar man playing the bagpipes can be identified all over India for the powerful ‘desi’ punch it adds to the drink. Bagpiper lovers enjoy a drink with cola and ice for a desi twist.
Royal Challenge has been a constant on the list of largest selling whiskies of India for about 30 years. This whisky is a smooth blend of fine Indian grains and delicious scotch, giving it a unique flavor.
The bold and masculine packaging and golden amber whisky is an image that most modern Indians love, is also a huge reason for its popularity. Royal Challenge is a popular pick while buying whisky in India due to its unique smoky, aged flavor. It’s loyalists’ advice drinking it neat or with iced water to preserve the flavor.
Antiquity blue is regarded by most as the best whisky in India because of its woody aroma and premium malt taste. Winner of the ‘best in class’ award in the International Wine and spirit competition, Antiquity blue is truly the best single malt whiskey.
The distillation process that occurs in copper pot stills, storage in white oak casks and finally fusion with fine scotch is what makes all the difference. Also it’s striking blue color and packaging adds a regal touch to this brand. Antiquity loyalists prefer to consume this with soda and ice.
Signature had its beginning in 1994 and has been on the list of top whiskeys since then. It’s recent re launch has made it one of the most famous whiskies of India. Its ‘signature’ octagonal green bottle is somewhat iconic of country-made desi whisky.
The distinctive notes of dry fruitiness and smoky flavor are what make it truly unique. Its loyalists love Signature for its medium body and spicy yet sweet premium taste that can be enjoyed with some ice.
Another stand out fact is that Signature is Indian first blend that’s crafted by Richard Paterso (Master blender) with 8-year-old scotch.
Some More Famous Indian Whisky Brands
- Rampur Single Malt Whisky
- After Dark
- Amrut Fusion Whisky
- Amrut Single Malt Whisky
- DSP Black
- Paul John Edited Whisky
- Royal Stag Barrel Select Whisky
- Red Knight
- Blender’s Pride Reserve Whisky
- Signature Rare and Aged Whisky
- Director’s Special
- Old Tavern
- Hayward’s Fine Whisky
Best Selling Foreign Whisky Brands in India
- J & B Rare Scotch
- Monkey Shoulder Triple Malt
- Chivas Regal 12
- Johnny Walker
- Old Pulteney
- Ballantine’s Finest
- Black Dog
- Jack Daniels
- Vat 69
Delicious Whiskey Cocktails
Old Fashioned: Whisky + ice + orange bitters + sugar + orange wedges
Pomegranate Punch: Whisky + ice + pomegranate juice
Old Fashioned Espresso: Espresso shot + a splash of whisky
Cider Spritzer: Whisky + Orange/grape fruit juice
Lemon Surprise: Whisky + Lemon Juice + Ginger
Hot Toddy: Whisky + lemon drops + honey
Ginger High: Whisky + Ginger ale + lemon slices
Spiked Tea: Whisky + maple syrup + tea
Whisky Ice Cream: Splash of whisky + Vanilla ice cream
Can Fine Whiskies Only be Consumed in Drink Form?
Apart from the crazy cocktails you can come up with using the fine whiskies on this list, there is another way you can enjoy the amazing flavor of it. How? Use it while cooking!
Pick your favorite whisky from the list and add it to marinate chicken, fish or even fruits to create the most delicious whisky induced flavors. Blenders Pride to marinate peaches and strawberries for desserts, Signature for chicken dishes, Royal challenge for sea food; the possibilities are endless when it comes to experimenting with premium whisky.
Why is Whisky Such an Integral Part of Celebrating Life?
This list of the best whisky brands in India proves that the best whiskies are not the most expensive whiskey brands. India being one of the largest whisky consumers in the world, Indians know the taste of fine and premium whiskey.
In India, having some good old-fashioned whisky signifies so much more than a celebration. It is the perfect drink to loosen up after a long day, a drink that brings friends and family together and also a way to add a touch of luxury to routine.
The whisky brands in India are a perfect blend of ‘country made-desi’ and ‘international luxury’. Choose any from our top 10 list, ‘make it large’ and celebrate every single moment of your life!