Top 10 Popular Whisky Brands in India

After vodka and beer, Whisky is for sure the most favorite alcoholic drink in the country. See, whisky was only introduced in India in the 19th century, and ever since, it has made quite a lot of fans here. So much so that the scotch whisky (yeah, the one from Scotland) calls India its new home now, that’s because quite recently India became the largest market for scotch whisky in the world.

Can you even believe that? That’s insane, right? Therefore you shouldn’t be surprised that the craze for whisky in India is still going strong, even in 2024. And looking at that, we have decided to come up with a list of the top 10 best whisky brands in India for 2024. If you are a true whisky lover, you’ve got to check out these brands. Let’s get to it then, shall we?

1. INDRI

INDRI-Whisky

You know the mighty Himalayas and the calm Yamuna river, right? Imagine a whisky born in their shadows! That’s INDRI. The Piccadily Distillery is where the magic happens. This drink has a history, it’s connected to the old GT Road which has seen centuries of travelers. The best part is that this brand uses special barley from Rajasthan and ages its whisky in three different barrels! And because of that it has won awards from Tokyo to the World Whiskies Awards. It’s like the old traditions meeting new tricks, giving us a taste to remember.

2. Amrut

amrut whiskey

As you may already know, in Sanskrit, Amrut means “Elixir of Life”. And this whisky holds a special place because it’s India’s first single malt. The brand’s story actually began in Bangalore in 1948. They faced some challenges, like finding good equipment, but they didn’t give up. Instead of using molasses-like everyone else, they chose barley. Their whisky was so special that it got noticed by experts like Jim Murray. The cool thing is that because of India’s warm climate, their whisky matures faster! So they introduced it to the European market and got a thumbs up.

3. Blenders Pride

Blenders Pride

See, Blenders Pride came out in 1995 and quickly became a favorite in India. The cool thing is, it’s made by mixing Indian grain with something special from Scotland. Pernod Ricard, the company that owns it, is actually super proud of it. IBlenders Pride used to be owned by another company called Seagram. But then, in 2001, Pernod Ricard and another company named Diageo bought Seagram and got Blenders Pride. They even made a fancier version of it in 2011, which was quite expensive for its time. A UK team helped design the bottle to make it look all classy. From a small start, Blenders Pride has grown a lot. They went from selling just a few bottles in 2003 to selling millions in 2012!

4. Black Dog

Black Dog

Born in Scotland but totally loved in India, this whisky has a cool story. It began way back in 1883 when James MacKinlay first mixed and bottled it. But here’s a twist! In 1992, the bottle got its final touch in India, even though the whisky came from Scotland. They had a smart plan. Instead of sending ready bottles from Scotland and paying a lot, they send the whisky in bulk and bottle it here in Nasik, Maharashtra. Saves money, smart, right? And did you know the name ‘Black Dog’ came from a fishing fly? Yep, a little tool used in fishing. The whisky has a rich story, and now you’re part of it!

5. Imperial Blue

Imperial Blue

Here’s another star, Imperial Blue. Some people call it IB. It’s been around since 1997 and has a special mix of Indian grains and Scotch from abroad. You might have seen their unique ads with the tagline “Men Will Be Men”. Even though they can’t show alcohol in ads, they found a cool way around it. They even made a movie called “Men Will Be Men”. Plus, they’ve been a part of sports events and music shows. It’s not just a drink; it’s a brand that’s everywhere. And from selling just a bit in 2000, they sold a massive 8.8 million cases by 2012. Big leap, right?

6. Paul John

Paul John

Now, Paul John is not just a man’s name but a superb whisky too. This Indian malt came out to the world in London in 2012. And guess where it’s made? Yep, right here in our Sunny Goa! So, every sip might remind you of beautiful beaches and fun times. It’s named after the big man of John Distilleries, Paul P. John. They’ve got a massive place in Goa where they make the magic happen, and you can even visit it. They started making regular whisky in 1996, but then they thought, “Why not try something unique?” So, they made this single malt in 2008. Thanks to Goa’s warm weather, the whisky gets ready faster. So, if you have a bottle that says it’s 5 years old, it’s almost like a 15-year-old Scotch.

7. Johnnie Walker

Johnnie Walker

Johnnie Walker is a famous Scotch whisky from, well, Scotland. That’s why it is called Scotch whisky. Right? See, a man named John Walker started it all in a place called Kilmarnock. Back in 2016, they sold more than 223.7 million bottles, well yeah, that’s a lot of whisky! Here’s a fun fact though, John Walker wasn’t always into whisky. First, he had a shop where he sold all kinds of things. But then, he started focusing on whisky and even used his own name on the bottles. After John passed away, his son and grandson made the brand even more famous all over the world.

8. Chivas Regal

Chivas Regal

Next up is Chivas Regal, another awesome Scotch whisky from Scotland. This one has been around since 1786. It comes from a place called Strathisla Distillery in Speyside, Scotland. Between 2002 and 2008, lots of people started loving it, not just in India but all around the globe, and sales went up by 61%! They have different kinds of whisky, like Chivas Regal 12 and Chivas Regal 25. There are two brothers, James and John Chivas, behind the brand’s story. They started with a small shop, and because they made such good whisky, even Queen Victoria became their customer in 1843!

9. Antiquity

Antiquity

Now, let’s talk about an Indian brand called Antiquity. It’s made by a company called United Spirits Ltd, which is part of the big Diageo Group. The brand actually started in 1992, and since then, it has given us two main types: Antiquity Blue and Antiquity Rare. A cool thing to know is that in 2012, Antiquity Blue won a silver award at an international competition! However, if you read GQ magazine, they gave Antiquity Rare a rating of 4.2/10, saying it has a unique taste, which might not be for everyone.

10. Royal Challenge

Royal Challenge

Last but not least, we have the Royal Challenge, often just called RC. It’s another Indian brand made by United Spirits Ltd. It’s been around since the 1980s. And if you are wondering what’s special about it, well, it’s a mix of different flavors, some from India and some from Scotland. And yep, even though we call it whisky, it’s a bit like rum! The brand started with a company called Shaw Wallace in the 1980s. But later, United Spirits Ltd took over and made it even bigger. It was super popular in India during the 1980s and 1990s. However, in 2003-04, they sold more than one million cases in just one year!

Conclusion

Maybe you are a whisky lover, or it could be that you just wanna start your whisky journey with the best options available out there in the Indian market. Right? Well, if that’s the case, we hope that our today’s post about whisky brands has helped you in some way.

Share this story

Related Posts

Leave a Reply