The premium whisky segment is a lucrative, niche space for serious whisky lovers who do not compromise on their expectations at all. You wouldn’t expect them to, considering pioneers of the luxury blended Scotch segment such as Chivas Regal and Ballantine’s do not come cheap.
Good whisky needs the right resources, great whisky takes time, and an excellent whisky takes all of that and more. A lot of the world’s most premium Scotch whisky brands happen to be single malts although with blends, whisky makers have a lot more room to manoeuvre and create masterpieces. Blends rely heavily on the skill and expertise of the Master Blenders behind them. Every single brand in our list of the top blended Scotch whiskies under 10,000 INR has a legend behind it, whether it’s George Robertson, or the icon Colin Scott himself.
Without further ado, check out The Whiskypedia’s top recommendations for the best blended Scotch whisky brands under 10,000 INR available in India today.
Ballantine’s 17 Year Old
Hard to describe a whisky of this magnitude, but we would love to try. The Ballantine’s 17 Year Old is not only the most awarded blended Scotch whisky in its category, but has also won the coveted ‘Whisky of the year’ from Jim Murray in 2010.
Nothing about the Ballantine’s 17 Year Old makes it an ordinary whisky, for this is a luxury blend; a drink only meant for special occasions. This is a blend that gives you back every penny you paid for it, and more. The Ballantine’s 17 presents the most enticing aromas of vanilla, honey, chocolate and smoke. Followed by the explosions of flavours in the form of ripe pears, citrus, and caramel and the most brilliant creamy texture. The Ballantine’s 17 Year Old is a bargain under the range of 10,000 INR.
Chivas Regal XV
One of the newest releases from the legendary house of Chivas Regal, the XV is a 15 Year Old blend replacing the previous one. This blend has been finished in exclusive, hand-picked Grande Champagne cognac barrels, drawing a considerable influence from them.
Earlier released in limited quantities only through travel retail, it was later released widely after receiving critical acclaim. The Grande Champagne influence is apparent from the get-go, with aromas of juicy oranges and peach, and the silkiest texture. Flavours of butterscotch, vanilla, marmalade and hints of spice form the most delicious palate before a long, warming finish leave you wanting more. The Chivas Regal XV is a terrific blend, fortunately priced perfectly under 10,000 INR.
Johnnie Walker Gold Label
Released to replace the Johnnie Walker Gold Label, the ‘centenary blend’ which was created in honour of Johnnie Walker’s centenary. While the Gold Label was a blend of 15 single malts, the Gold Label Reserve is a regular blend of single malts and grain whisky. The Gold Label Reserve blend also carries no-age-statement unlike the previous version which was bottled at 18 years. Not much is clear why the name was retained while everything else was altered, nevertheless, this is a very good whisky.
Built around the Clynelish single malt, it has an immensely pleasant nose with sweet aromas of caramel, Christmas spice and some fruit. A smooth drink with subtle flavours of vanilla, spice and sweet floral notes to round off a very good drinking experience. The Gold Label Reserve has been created especially for long-time Johnnie Walker loyalists, but even they will notice the missing peat. Still, a very strong contender for our top five blended Scotch whisky brands priced under 10,000 INR.
These are the top three blended Scotch whisky recommendations you should try. If you are looking forward to being slightly more generous, and exceed your budget of 10,000 INR, the Chivas Regal 18 Year Old and the Ballantine’s 21 Year Old are both examples of owning liquid treasure.