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15 Best Indian Whisky Brands Ranked (2023 Edition)

Best Indian Whiskey Brands

Last Updated on February 2, 2024 by Lydia Martin

The best whiskeys aren’t just found in the US, Scotland, Japan, Ireland, and Canada; India is also home to some of the best whiskies you can find in the whisky world.  

If you’re used to Scotch or bourbon, you might want to try whiskies from the Indian market that’ll surely surprise you and your palate. 

So without further ado, here are the best Indian whisky brands you need to try. 

Top 15 Indian Whisky Brands You Need To Try 

15. Amrut Fusion 

Amrut Fusion Bottle and a Canister

Average Price: approx. $70/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 50% ABV

Why We Like It: This Amrut Fusion single malt whisky from Amrut Distilleries is a blended Indian barley and Scotch malts.

We like how Amrut Distilleries maintains the rick oak flavor, citrusy spice, and vanilla-chocolate note on the last-lasting finish. 

The unique blend of Amrut Fusion single malt whisky exudes a flavor profile that’ll leave you wanting more.

Fun fact: Amrut Single Malt Whisky is the first Indian single malt released in 2004.    

14. Royal Challenge Whisky

Royal Challenge Whisky Bottle and a Glass

Average Price: approx. $22/750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 42.8% ABV 

Why We Like It: This whisky produced by United Spirits is a blend of rare Scottish malts and Indian single malts, which we find the taste like no other. 

Despite the low proof, it’s rich and bold, yet smooth with the right fusion of Scotch whisky, plus the aging in charred oak barrels.

If you want to encourage a Scotch fanatic into drinking Indian whiskies, make them try this one.     

Read: Our Recommended English Whisky Brands

13. Officer’s Choice

Pouring Officer's Choice Bottle on a Glass

Average Price: approx. $22/750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 35% ABV

Why We Like It: From Allied Blenders and Distillers, Officer’s Choice is one of the best whisky brands and one of the largest spirits brands worldwide. 

And it’s not just hype and reputation; Officer’s Choice is a true must-have among the many brands.

It’s made from pure grain, blending rare Scotch malts and Indian grain spirits, aged in charred oak casks.

12. Peter Scot Black

Close Up Shot of Peter Scot Black Single Malt Whisky

Average Price: approx. $65/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 42.8% ABV 

Why We Like It: If you want a nutty and woody single malt whisky, we recommend Peter Scot Black. However, it’s not widely available today, so finding a bottle is hard.

It’s a popular whisky (obviously), with evident hints of single-malt Scotch whisky. This is a good pour, though the ABV is lower than others on this list.  

11. Haywards

man holding bottle of haywards whisky

Average Price: approx. $5/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 42.8% ABV 

Why We Like It: Haywards Fine whisky in India uses extra neutral alcohol and seasonings on their blend.

Actually, this is also under United Spirits alongside Royal Challenge.  

Some hints are comparable to Solan No. 1 [2], but rich notes of dried fruits and acid are here. It’s medium-bodied with some sweetness and an unusual herbal hint. 

The finish is relatively short, but this is one of the smoothest whiskies in India we’ve tried and the most affordable, too.  

10. Bagpiper Whisky

Bottles of Bagpiper Whisky

Average Price: approx. $6/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 42.8% ABV 

Why We Like It: Another one of the best whiskies from United Spirits is Bagpiper Whisky.

We recommend Bagpiper for whisky lovers who want strong and robust drinks. 

It’s a blend of Scottish and Indian barley. The taste of a blended malt whisky is apparent, with rich molasses, just like most whisky brands.  

9. Royal Stag (Seagram’s Royal Stag)

Seagram's Royal Stag Bottle and a Box

Average Price: approx. $13/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 42.8% ABV 

Why We Like It: Royal Stag Barrel Select is one of the superior whiskies in India, made with Scottish and Indian malts, then aged in oak barrels. 

The aroma is unique, with some hint of malted barley. In fact, this malt whisky is the first among the Indian whisky brands not to use artificial flavorings. 

“I know so many people who collect whisky and go to bars abroad and try new alcohol! But the mass is still drinking its Royal Stag.”

— Yangdup Lama, Celebrated Mixologist

The Deluxe variation is woody and fruity, with some peat smoke on the finish. We prefer this Indian whisky sipped neat or straight. 

8. Solan No. 1

Man Holding Bottle of Solan No. 1

Average Price: approx. $15.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 42.8% ABV 

Why We Like It: Solan No. 1 is a really must-try. However, it’s the rarest among the rare whisky brands in India.

Luckily, we got to see and taste it, and it was worth the long wait.

This single malt whisky has a rich golden hue, made from a blend of selected Indian neutral spirits and old single malt whiskies, then aged in premium wooden casks. 

With its ABV, it’s a light whisky, which is great for sipping neat or straight. 

7. Blenders Pride

Bottle of Blenders Pride and a Box

Average Price: approx. $12/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 42.8% ABV 

Why We Like It: Blender’s Pride blends the flavors of Scotch whisky and Indian single malt whisky.

The exciting part is – the malts used are imported from Chivas Regal. 

If you like the bittersweet, you’ll like Blenders Pride as it delivers a dark chocolate note– perfect for the holiday season and special gatherings.

The finish has smoky undertones, but overall, it’s good and satisfying. 

6. Rampur 

Man Drinking Bottle of Rampur Indian Single Malt Whisky

Average Price: approx. $80-88.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 4345% ABV 

Why We Like It: Rampur offers a line of single malt Indian whiskies, and we particularly like their Double Cask due to its fruity yet complex spices, with rich dried fruit, vanilla, and caramel notes.

If you want to fill your cabinet with the best whiskies in India, you shouldn’t overlook Rampur single malts.

Despite the complexity and proof, it’s smooth and gentle, so it’s ideal for beginners.   

5. 8PM

Bottle of 8 PM Whisky

Average Price: approx. $13.99/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 40% ABV 

Why We Like It: 8PM is a flagship brand of Radico Khaitan, a label producing a huge selection of Indian and international whisky brands in India. 

The bitter-honey flavors in this whisky are remarkable. Despite the good quality, it’s a budget-friendly whisky in India.

The fine quality grains used to make this whisky makes for a lavish and excellent drinking experience.  

4. Paul John 

Bottle of Paul John Bold on top of Wooden Barrel

Average Price: approx. $55/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 46% ABV 

Why We Like It: This evergreen drink from India’s coastal state of Goa is a must-have for any occasion, whether Christmas, Thanksgiving, or any holiday season.

We like the Paul John Bold notes of honey, prickly spice, and red licorice, leaving a satisfying finish.

3. Imperial Blue

Man Drinking Imperial Blue Whisky

Average Price: approx. $8/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 42.8% ABV 

Why We Like It: In 2018, Imperial Blue won an award in the spirits competition in India [3].

This is one of our favorite gain whiskies in India for its nutty and smoky hint.

We compare it to the flavor profile of Paul John Brilliance Whisky (based on our experience).

But Imperial Blue is outstanding due to its well-rounded taste and finish.   

2. Sterling Reserve

Holding Bottle of B7 Sterling Reserve

Average Price: approx. $18/750ml (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 42.8% ABV 

Why We Like It: Sterling Reserve is close to perfection with its sophisticated texture, smoothness, and well-rounded finish. 

This should be on the first spot if it hadn’t the complexity that we find off at times, but it’s manageable, so it ranks this high. 

We like this was crafted, mixing modern techniques and classic whisky ingredients, dominating the overall profile. 

1. McDowell’s

Bottle and a Box of McDowell's Whisky

Average Price: approx. $21/750ml (Drizly)

Alcohol Content: 42.8% ABV

Why We Like It: McDowell’s is a premium brand in India, introducing the best whisky of their kind.

Fun Fact: In 2020, it ranked as the largest-selling whisky brand in the world by World’s Million-Case Spirits Brand.  

Under United Spirits and Diageo, McDowell’s gives an excellent blend of single-malt Scotch whisky expressions and Indian single-malt whisky spirits [4], creating a high-quality profile and character. 

But what’s the oldest whisky in the world?

FAQs 

Which Indian whisky is smooth?

The smoothest Indian whisky is McDowell’s. But for other options, try Amrut Fusion Single Malt Whisky, Imperial Blue Whisky, and Paul John Bold. 

Why do Indians love whisky?

Indians love whisky because it’s a sign of culture and taste. Whisky is a must-have in their gatherings or any special celebration. 

What is the cheapest whisky in India?

The cheapest whiskies in India include Haywards, Blue Imperial Whisky, 8PM, Blender’s Pride Whisky, and Bagpiper Whisky. 

To Sum It Up

So here are the best Indian whisky brands we’ve tried and ranked— being McDowell’s the star of the list.

If there’s one, we highly recommend that would be McDowell’s for sure, for its blend of perfection. 

But you can explore more on this list, and all are well worth the try and money. 

However, you can’t find all these bottles easily outside India, so you better hunt them now and see for yourself how Indian whiskies compete with other spirits from other regions. 

References:

  1. https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/how-different-is-your-imfl-from-desi-daaru/298074 
  2. https://www.livemint.com/Leisure/PiKqdbm2wPGiQnCisfynmK/1800s-Solan-No-1–The-accidental-legacy.html 
  3. https://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/seagram-s-imperial-red-rum-presented-with-gold-quality-award-at-monde-selection-2019-119062500924_1.html 
  4. https://www.indiatoday.in/food-drink/drinks/story/whisky-drinks-alcohol-brands-jim-beam-jack-daniels-cocktail-manhattan-lifefd-979623-2017-05-28 
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