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The 10 most sold Whisky brands in India

India ranks in the top 3 of the list of Whisky consumers in the world, after China and Russia. The number is so high that the Whisky consumers are more than the population of many countries. India also manufactures a lot of brands of whisky, for all classes. From the locally manufactured spirits for the consumers with lower purchasing power to Single Malts like Amrut; there is whisky for all.

Let us look at the top 10 most purchased brands of Whisky in the country

Listed below are the top 10 whiskey brands in India:

1. McDowell’s No 1

The top selling brand in India is the Mc Dowell’s No 1 Whisky. The brand was launched in 1968 by the United Spirits Limited (Now- DIAGEO- USL). Other variants are Reserve, Diet Mate and Platinum. The whisky has won awards too.

McDowell’s No 1

2. Officers Choice

A brand by Allied Blenders and Distillers (ABD), known as “OC” by the common man in India, is the second most selling brand of whisky in India. The brand boasts of a very popular whisky, which is made by blending the best of Indian neutral spirits with Malt Spirits.

Officers Choice

3. Bagpiper

“Khoob jamega rang, jab mil baithenge 3 yaar; aap main aur Bagpiper” (When you and me meet with Bagpiper, the evening is bound to be colourful) Is something that we all tipplers have heard and read a lot. This Whisky brand by Diageo- USL is the next to be on the list of the most selling whisky’s in India. This is also one of the top 100 brands in the world.


4. Royal Stag

Seagram’s Royal Stag is a brand which was released in the Indian market in 1995. The brand is owned by the second largest liquor company in the world- Pernod Ricard. It blends Indian grain based spirits with imported Scotch malts to present this amazing drink. This is now available in the barrel select expression as well.

Royal Stag

5. Original Choice

This brand is owed by John Distilleries. This is another well known brand in the country and one among the top 20 best selling whiskies in the world. Though the name has a resemblance to Officers Choice, What is in the name? It is a totally different whisky.

Original Choice

6. Old Tavern

Another popular choice among whisky brands in India is Old Tavern, which holds a considerable share in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and is also sold in numerous African nations. The brand is available in tetra pack as well.

Old Tavern

7. Haywards Fine

Haywards Fine is another brand owned by Diageo- USL, which has earned a place on this list. It is an economically priced brand, which is gaining increasing popularity not only in India, but also in the Middle East and Africa.

Haywards Fine

8. Imperial Blue

Also known as Seagrams Imperial Blue, this brand gives a fine blend of Scotch malts with Indian grain spirits. The brand was launched by Seagram in 1997. This is one of the favourite whisky brands among the middle class society. The “men will be men” campaign has really taken this to a different dimension and placed the brand well in the Indian alcohol market.

Imperial Blue

9. 8 PM

A regular college time drink for most of us, 8 PM, is a brand owned by Radico Khaitan. The reputed brand was launched in 1999 and has reached the heights of popularity at present.

8 PM

10. Directors Special

Another leading Indian whiskey brand is Directors Special by United Spirits. The brand started in 1988. It was earlier owned by Shaw Wallace distillery, which was taken over by the USL group in 2005. This popular whiskey is distilled from fermented molasses.

Directors Special

All these brands may not be on the level of what a connoisseur would expect, but they are surely making waves in the quantity of output and the reach to the general public.

Balakrishnan Subramanyan, Chief Bartender, Mixologist & Editor at Vgulp

via Balakrishnan Subramanyan

Balakrishnan Graduated from the Institute of Hotel Management, Hyderabad. He went on to do his masters in International Hospitality. He has also completed his foundation and intermediate levels in Wine and Spirits training. He understands beverages from their inception stage till they are sipped. Be it storage or handling, he knows how delicately beverages are treated. Upon obtaining considerable experience in travelling, eating and working in some of the niche destinations of hospitality, he is the chief mixologist at Vgulp and the journey continues. He believes there is no better love in this world than the love for alcohol.


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