Best Whiskey Brands in India 2020

Whiskey is the perfect drink to warm you up from the inside. In a country like India where the love for whiskey will never die, there's bound to be numerous brands of whiskey available. Here are some of the best whiskies available in India.

There’s no doubt that Indians have an unmatched love for whiskey. Be it a bottle of economically priced whiskey, or a fine bottle of luxurious scotch whiskey, both are equally sought after. The sheer number of brands of whiskey available in India is a testament to the country’s love for this golden nectar.

There are many economical choices for whiskeys such as Royal Challenge, Officers Choice, Bagpiper, Original choice and Director’s Special. Then there are ones that slowly group the scale such as Imperial blue, Blenders Pride, McDowell’s Signature, etc. Here are some of the most popular brands of whiskeys in India.

Best Whiskey Brands in India 2020

Imperial Blue

Imperial Blue is a unique blend of scotch malts and Indian grain whiskeys. This brand is owned by the company Pernod Ricard. It is one of the best-selling whiskeys in India and the third-largest selling whiskey in the world. The smooth taste of the Imperial Blue whiskey has made it the crowd favorite of the whiskey market.

Price of Imperial Blue Whiskey in India= Rs. 455 for 750 milliliters

ABV in Imperial Blue= 42.8%

Blenders Pride Reserve Collection

 Best Whiskey Brands in India 2020
Image Credits: Pernod Ricard

The Blenders Pride Reserve Collection is one of the most premium whiskeys in the country. Finest scotch malts are blended with the best Indian grain spirits and aged in oak barrels using the Solera Process of maturation.

The Blenders Pride Reserve Collection has subtle notes of vanilla, honey and fruits. The smoky, fruity flavor profile has a rich, creamy and warm finish.

Price of Blenders Pride Reserve Collection in India= Rs. 1047 for 750 milliliters

ABV in Blenders Pride Reserve Collection= 42.8%

Amrut Indian Single Malt Whiskey

As India’s first single malt whiskey, Amrut has managed to make its place in the international whiskey market as one of the finest whiskeys in the world. The signature fruit, honey, and spice flavor combination have certainly garnered numerous fans all over the world.

Price of Amrut Indian Single Malt whiskey in India= Rs. 3400 for 750 milliliters

ABV in Amrut Indian Single Malt Whiskey= 46%

Antiquity Blue

 Best Whiskey Brands in India 2020
Image Credits: Diageo

What makes Antiquity Blue stand out from the rest of the Indian whiskeys is the fact that it is a blend of Scottish grain whiskeys rather than Scottish malts and Indian grain whiskeys. This makes the Antiquity Blue a smooth blend, perfect to be had with some water, soda or ice. Launched in 1992, this whiskey has numerous ardent lovers.

Price of Antiquity Blue in India= Rs. 857 for 750 milliliters

ABV in Antiquity Blue=42.8%

Paul John Brilliance

 Best Whiskey Brands in India 2020
Image Credits: Paul John Whiskey

This is yet another Indian single malt whiskey. This whiskey produced at the John distilleries which have been previously producing economical whiskey options such as Original Choice. Its fine taste and high quality have made it one of the best-selling whiskey brands despite its recent release in 2013.

Price of Paul John Brilliance in India= Rs. 4640

ABV in Paul John Brilliance= 46%

McDowell’s Signature

 Best Whiskey Brands in India 2020
Image Credits: Diageo

This iconic whiskey bottle is always easily recognizable thanks to its octagonal base. Commonly considered a light whiskey in India, the McDowell’s Signature has hints of a molasses-based spirit with smoky undertones.

Price of McDowell’s Signature Whiskey in India= Rs. 920 for 750 milliliters

ABV in McDowell’s Signature Whiskey= 42.8%

Royal Stag Barrel Select

 Best Whiskey Brands in India 2020
Image Credits: Pernod Ricard India

Royal stag has always been the pioneer in the Indian whiskey market. Their unmatched quality and finesse have only been strengthened with the release of the Royal Stag Barrel Select in 2011. Scottish malts and Indian grain whiskeys are blended together and aged in handpicked oak barrels to produce crisp whiskeys.

Price of Royal Stag Barrel Select in India= Rs. 663

ABV in Royal Stag Barrel Select= 42.8%

Jameson Irish Whiskey

 Best Whiskey Brands in India 2020
Image Credits: Jameson Whiskey

Jameson is revered as the most versatile whiskey in the world. One of Ireland’s most popular exports, the Jameson Irish  Whiskey is great to be had neat, with soda, on the rocks or mixed in with cocktails. This fine grain whiskey is widely appreciated by whiskey lovers and mixologists alike.

The Jameson Irish whiskey is made using both malted and unmalted barley, fine grain whiskey and distilled thrice. To be called an Irish whiskey, it has to be aged for at least three years on the island of Ireland

Price of Jameson Irish Whiskey in India= Rs. 2400 for 1 liter

ABV in Jameson Irish Whiskey= 40%

The Glenlivet 12 Year Old Whiskey

 Best Whiskey Brands in India 2020
Image Credits: Glenlivet

This classic single malt whiskey expresses notes of pineapple which is followed by a creamy aftertaste. This makes the Glenlivet 12 year old whiskey one among the world’s top whiskies. A unique flavor profile and the fact that it comes from the iconic Glenlivet distillery make this one of the best whiskeys available in India.

Price of Glenlivet 12 Year Old Whiskey= Rs. 5000 for 1 liter

ABV in The Glenlivet 12 Year Old Whiskey= 40%

Chivas Regal 12 Year Old Whiskey

 Best Whiskey Brands in India 2020
Image Credits: Chivas

From the collection of the revolutionary Chivas Brothers, this 12 year old whiskey is the best representation of the luxury Chivas stands for. Hints of spices, nuts and caramel along with fruity flavors and aroma makes this whiskey an immediate favourite for everyone.

Price of Chivas Regal 12 Year Old Whiskey= Rs. 2300 for 1 liter

ABV in the Chivas Regal 12 Year Old Whiskey= 40%

Johnnie Walker Black  Label

Yet another 12 years aged blend of scotch whiskeys, the Johnnie Walker Black Label is a mix of Scotch whiskeys from four different regions of Scotland. The rich taste of this whiskey is synonymous with the Johnnie Walker brand. It is one of India’s most loved whiskeys.

Price of Johnnie Walker Black Label= Rs. 2800 for 1 liter

ABV in Johnnie Walker Black Label= 40%

Dewar’s White Label

 Best Whiskey Brands in India 2020
Image Credits: Dewar‘s

This fast-growing American brand is Scotch Whiskey has recently been doing great in the Indian market. Reasonable pricing and high accolades garnered at whiskey tasting competitions have made Dewar’s even more popular. The Dewar’s White Label, in particular, has been the most loved all over the world. This is because of its vanilla, pear and fudge-like flavor profile which is accompanied by a fruity aroma .

Price of Dewar’s White Label Whisky in India= Rs. 1480 for 1 liter

ABV IN Dewar’s White Label Whiskey= 40%

Types of Whiskey

Whiskey is made using distilling fermented grains. It is believed that it was invented in countries like Scotland where grapes were scarce to make spirits like wines. Hence, they used the one commodity that they did have in abundance which was grains. Slowly whiskey made its way around the globe, with many different variations popping up in different countries to match their tastes and the availability of raw materials.

Irish

Irish whiskey tends to have light and fruity characteristics. Irish whiskey is traditionally distilled in copper pots. To be called an Irish whiskey, it must be aged for a minimum of three years in Ireland.

Single malt

This is completely made from malted barley in a single distillery.

Grain

This is a lighter whiskey made with corn or grain.

American

American whiskeys are usually ages in charred oak barrels. Their ABV levels remain under 80%. In a nutshell, American whiskies have a sweeter flavour profile without the smoky, peaty or briny flavor that most other whiskeys do.

Bourbon

To classify as a Bourbon, a whiskey must be made of 51% corn mash.

Rye

The whiskey must at least partially be made of rye mash and should be distilled down to no more than 80% ABV.

Wheat

This whiskey is made of 51% wheat mash.

Tennessee

This whiskey is quite similar to a Bourbon however; it goes through a charcoal filtration process which makes the whiskey a little milder in flavor.

American Single Malt

A very popular whiskey type, the American single malts tend to have a smoky, aromatic and honey-like taste.

Scotch

The Scotch whisky has a rich and vibrant history behind it. This is the reason why different regions of Scotland are known for producing different types of whiskies. All scotch whiskeys are made from malted barley, aged for at least three years and must be made in Scotland.

Highland

The highlands cover the most area of all the five sections in Scotland. The whiskeys made in these regions tend to have a fruity flavor with a little bit of spice.

Lowland

There are only three functioning distilleries in this area which are- Bladnoch, Glenkinchie, and Auchentoshan. The whiskeys produced here are mild bodied and have lighter characteristics.

Campbeltown

The whiskey here is influenced by the sea. Just as the Lowlands, only three distilleries function here- Springbank, Glengyle and Glen Scotia.

Islay

Like Campbeltown, Islay region is also heavily influenced by the sea that surrounds it. This tends to show in the taste of the whiskey of the region which has a briny and smoky taste.

Speyside

With the river Spey running through the region, it is home to over half of all the Scottish distilleries. These are some of the best scotch whiskeys with sweeter tones and a rich finish.

Japanese

These are some of the most unique whiskeys. Japanese whiskeys take inspiration from the Lowlands and Speyside whiskies of Scotland. They are light whiskies with smooth, delicate flavors and the added sweetness of honey. Japan is constantly using cutting edge technology to produce whiskeys to match the needs of consumers and on the other hand, countries like Scotland still practice traditional processes.

Whether you like your whiskey neat, with soda, on the rocks or mixed in a cocktail, it is most important to enjoy responsibly. We hope this list helps you explore the whiskey world.

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  1. The best thing in the world – whiskey !!! And one of the best articles I have ever read about them ! Well done.

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