Indian single malts outsold global brands in their home market in 2023, CIABC finds

Indian single malts outsold global brands in their home market in 2023, CIABC finds

Early estimates from the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies found that Indian-made whiskies accounted for 53 per cent of single malt sales in the country last year

News | 17 Jan 2024

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Indian single malt whiskies are now out-selling foreign counterparts in their home country, new data has revealed.


Estimates from the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC) show that domestically produced whiskies accounted for about 53 per cent of single malt sales in India in 2023, a year-on-year increase of almost 25 per cent. This compares with estimated growth of about 11 per cent for imported brands.


The figures, originally reported by the Times of India, revealed that of the 675,000 cases of single malt sold in India last year, 345,000 were of Indian origin. Amrut, Paul John, Rampur, Indri, and Gianchand were listed as the top five best-selling Indian single malts.


India's whisky market has long been dominated by Scottish names – according to the CIABC estimates, the top global brands last year were The Glenlivet, Macallan, Lagavulin, and Talisker – but Scotch whisky companies are beginning to see the value in Indian-made malts. Diageo released its Godawan single malt, made at the company's Alwar distillery in Rajisthan, in 2022, while Pernod Ricard's first domestically produced single malt Longitude 77 went on general sale in December 2023 following a two-month exclusive launch in travel retail.


"It's not every day that such a feat is achieved," Thrivikram Nikam, join managing director of Amrut Distilleries, told the Times of India. "Indian whisky makers have come a long way as they are now second to none in terms of quality and refinement."


Michael De Souza, master distiller at Paul John maker John Distilleries, said: "Witnessing the rise of Indian single malts is nothing short of a triumph. It’s a testament to the craftsmanship, unrivalled quality, and distinct but delicious flavours in all the expressions - which are a result of India’s tropical climate and accelerated maturation process. This creates a unique point of difference to other whiskies in the world.

"At John Distilleries, we’ve always believed in exploring the unbeaten path, pushing boundaries, and experimenting with different cask finishes to craft rarities. This surge in domestic single malt consumption is perhaps a reflection of a growing appreciation for our flavour profile and exhibits a demand from whisky lovers who are keen to expand their palate and try something new."


In 2023, leaders in the Indian whisky industry told Whisky Magazine that the shifting demographic of whisky drinkers in the country – leaning younger, with more disposable income – was precipitating changes in the sector, with more premium products (both malts and blends) leading the charge.

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