Which is the Best Standard Blended Scotch Whisky in India
What is a Standard Blended Scotch Whisky?
For a lot of people, these are their first introduction to the larger than life world of whisky, a beautiful labyrinth that none have ever seemed to complain about being trapped in.
Standard blended Scotches are the entry-level bottlings that capture a significantly higher proportion of the whisky marketplace as they’re an affordable window into the magnificent world of Scotch whisky.
Among the Indian whisky drinkers, the standard blended Scotch category represents a massive upgrade and upper movement from the premium Indian whisky segment. Their synonymy with prestige and luxury makes them much more desirable, and an initiation into a more complex school of whisky.
Standard blends make for great everyday whiskies, thus culminating in voluminous sales all year round, and since they’re within the grasp of a massive chunk of the population, their sales register astronomical numbers.
This is what makes the standard blended Scotch whisky segment among the most hotly contested quarters in the industry, so let us check out who comes out on top.
Who’s Fighting for the Crown of the Best Standard Blended Scotch Whisky?
The standard blended Scotch segment is divided between some strong players that have been around in the Indian market for many years. This short list is populated by 100 Pipers Deluxe, Black & White, Teachers Highland Cream, Black Dog and VAT 69.
Let us draw a quantitative and qualitative analysis between the behemoths of the highest selling type of Scotch whisky in India to find out who triumphs!
Who’s Wearing the Commercial Crown of the Best Standard Blended Scotch Whisky?
Commercially, it is the two titans, 100 Pipers and Teachers Highland Cream that are battling it out for the title of the top selling Scotch whisky in the Indian market. Now while Teachers Highland Cream may have reigned supreme a few years ago, 100 Pipers was the one to recently dethrone the former, taking the crown for itself.
Interestingly, 100 Pipers made their achievement a lot sweeter by also becoming the first ever Scotch whisky brand to sell over a million cases in India, a feat that no other Scotch whisky brand has been able to claim.
This gives 100 Pipers the upper hand against their closest rivals, Teachers Highland Cream, and the brand’s relatively modest contemporaries such as Black & White, Black Dog and VAT 69 who enjoy limited, yet steady success when it comes to sales figures.
Yet commercial prospects are not the only measure of a brand’s stature, and their critical performance has to be the true determinant when speaking of the magnitude of being the best standard blended Scotch whisky in India.
The True Master
One of the most crucial, yet difficult aspects of mastering what it takes to triumph over the others in this segment is juggling and balancing an impeccable quality, with the most competitive pricing
That is the distinction that solidifies a brand’s hold over this segment, so let us delve deeper into the characteristics and profiles of the five contenders that are battling it out for the crown.
100 Pipers Deluxe Blended Scotch whisky
This is a fine example of excellence in blending whisky, and it is for this reason, that 100 Pipers completely dominates the standard blended Scotch segment in the country.
Velvety smooth, with distinctly pleasant notes of vanilla, dried fruits, soft smoke and caramelized oak, 100 Pipers is a terrific drink. The Asian, European and Latin American markets are No matter your drinking preferences, neat or with a splash of water, 100 Pipers is the perfect Scotch that rightly towers over its counterparts in the standard blended Scotch segment in India. Being a premium Whisky brand 100 Piper Scotch price is not that expensive.
Teachers Highland Cream
Another strong contender for the title, Teachers Highland Cream is considered to be a classic blend with a strong Highland character. Owing to the presence of the blueprint whisky from Ardmore, it has an evident smoky profile on its nose with some amounts of fruit.
Accompanied by a gentle bite, the flavours of cereal and honey follow quickly. The smokiness does not give in easily, and the long, warming finish leaves a taste of toffee, and smoke behind.
This is a great whisky to be had with mixers, and for veterans, be sipped on neat. Not the most flavourful whiskies out there, but it sure makes up for it with a smooth, pleasant mouthfeel. The heavily smoked Ardmore single malt does not generally have the kind of universal appeal as say, a Speyside whisky. Nevertheless, a very decent blend for the price.
Black & White Blended Scotch
This is one of the truly remarkable grain-heavy whiskies in the market, and has consistently done well in many Asian and Latin American whisky markets. While most blends rely on grain whiskies for smoothness and as a filler that does not overwhelm the more flavourful malt whiskies, Black & White is very different in that regard.
It’s smoother than most whiskies, pleasantly packed with citrus, oak and vanilla flavours, and a clean, crisp finish that has hints of sweetness. Overall, there is nothing to dislike about this blend but as some may point out, there isn’t much to be excited about either. Having a bottle of Black & White at hand isn’t so bad, but you wouldn’t go out of your way to purchase it
Contrary to its name, VAT 69 is not a vatted malt (blended malt) whisky, but is a blended Scotch whisky, a blend of grain and malt whiskies. A very old blend, it has been around for many years and has done sufficiently well to become a reliable blend for many.
A typical go-to whisky that is a bang-for-the-buck, VAT 69 has an interesting repertoire of flavours with gentle notes of spicy caramel and a hint of sweet fruits on the palate. It is very well-known for being straightforward, and not trying to overdo any aspect of its character which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A very good choice for a month-end dram, or as an option to have lying around for parties thrown on a shoe-string budget.
Black Dog Blended Scotch
Black Dog is one of the up and coming blended Scotch brands in India, although the brand has been around for many decades. Black Dog could easily be termed a ‘cult’ whisky since it has a loyal consumer base, but has had little success expanding that circle.
Bottled by domestic liquor giants United Spirits Ltd., it is one of the few blended Scotch whiskies to carry an age-statement although it isn’t necessarily an indication of superiority or quality. Flavours of oak, malt and sherry are dominant with this drink, with a moderate, warming finish rounding things off. A decent whisky for the price, it deserves to perform better than it does, but the lack of flavoured malt in this whisky is evident.
Picking the Best Blended Scotch Whisky
After a careful consideration of the overall qualities and characteristics of all the whiskies placed in contention for the title of the best standard blended Scotch whisky, we must pick the winner.
According to us at The Whiskypedia, it is 100 Pipers Deluxe Blended scotch that takes the throne. With no lack of positive attributes in its favour, it is the best performing brand in our analysis, and has rightly done well in India.
The clear winner for the title of the best standard blended Scotch whisky in India is 100 Pipers Deluxe Blended Scotch whisky.