Long before Indian brands Amrut and Paul John made it to Jim Murray’s prestigious Whisky Bible, Indians were the largest consumers of whisky in the world, and today, we are the fastest growing whisky market.
The phenomenal rate of growth
However, going by the definition, even today, only a handful of Indian spirits can be qualified as ‘whisky’ in the European Union.
But that hasn’t deterred the spirit of the whisky drinkers in India. International Wine & Spirit Research report (IWSR), 2019, confirmed that India’s economy last year helped drive the growth of whisky sales by 10.5 per cent in the country, indicating a trade-up by the consumers.
Overall, the consumption of whisky in India has evolved many fold in the last decade. From scotch to IMFL and now Japanese, American, Canadian, Irish, Taiwanese and premium Indian single malts, whisky still rules the market. Globally as well, the whisky category saw an upsurge of 7 per cent last year and will continue at a 5.7 per cent CAGR (Compound Annual Growth rate) until 2023, thanks to innovative whisky cocktails and revival of the highball, reports IWSR.
A promising market
For global spirits majors such as Diageo, Pernod Ricard and Beam Suntory, India has always remained the most prominent whisky market. Over the years, the consumer upgradation to premium and super-premium spirits has only supported these companies and major importers in the country to introduce luxury single malts and blended whisky labels such as Lagavulin 16, Singleton of Glendullan 12 YO, Macallan, Bruichladdich, The Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie, Monkey Shoulder, Talisker, etc.
Just recently Whyte & Mackay reintroduced The Dalmore and Jura range in the market through a new liquor-importing partner VBev. Many of these whiskies have their unique stories to entice the whisky lover. For example, an iconic brand such as The Dalmore 12 yo is recognised as a whisky far beyond its age. It was also the first whisky to be aged for 12 years in the 1800s. Matured for nine years in American white oak ex-bourbon casks; half is being transferred to exclusive 30-year-old Gonzalez Byass Matusalem Oloroso Sherry butts for the last 3 years to create this phenomenal whisky. The Dalmore distillery is known to have one of the oldest and rarest collections of Highland whiskies.