Blenders Pride Vs Sterling Reserve B 10 Premium Indian Whisky

While Blenders Pride is one of India’s most easily recognizable whisky brands, a new challenger has entered the premium Indian blended whisky segment recently. Sterling Reserve launched in late 2017 made an impressive entry, but would that be enough to knock Blenders Pride off its perch? Or does Blenders Pride have nothing to worry about?

Before we begin our comparison between both brands, let us explore both brands, and their profiles through a short overview of both Blenders Pride Rare Premium, and Sterling Reserve Blend 10.

Blenders Pride Rare Premium

Blenders Pride Rare Premium, also known only as Blenders Pride, was first introduced to the Indian market in 1995 by Seagram’s. The Indian whisky industry was quite different back in the day, and has evolved into one of the most competitive yet thriving spaces. Blenders Pride was introduced as a premium Indian blended whisky, created by blending imported Scotch malts with fine Indian grain whiskies.

The Blenders Pride brand has been one of the best whisky brands in India, renowned for its smooth taste and stylish packaging. The Blenders Pride price point has also played a crucial role in the brand’s popularity which offers a fantastic quality at a reasonable price.

Blenders Pride

One of the most attractive attributes about Blenders Pride Rare Premium have been the use of imported Scotch malts from none other than the house of Chivas Brothers. The quality of source whiskies has really translated into a premium whisky that resonates with the Indian whisky lover.

Within a decade of its arrival in India, Blenders Pride was selling more than 1 million cases of their product annually. The number eventually grew astonishingly, placing Blenders Pride among India’s best performing whisky brands. Today, Blenders Pride has become one of India’s highest selling whisky brands with more than 7.3 million cases sold in 2018. This is a whopping accomplishment considering Blenders Pride belongs to the premium Indian whisky segment with a slightly higher price-tag than most budget whisky brands.

Now that we have an elaborate overview of the Blenders Pride whisky brand, let us get to know our challenging product, Sterling Reserve Blend 10 a little better.

Sterling Reserve Blend 10

Sterling Reserve was initially launched by Allied Blenders & Distillers in 2018. It was slowly introduced all across the country by ABD, who are market leaders in the budget admix category with Officer’s Choice, their flagship product.

Sterling Reserve was launched in two variants, the Sterling Reserve Blend 7, which competes with brands such as Royal Stag, Royal Challenge and others; and the Sterling Reserve Blend 10 which competes with Blenders Pride, Antiquity Blue and other regional brands.

Sterling Reserve B10

Despite the names, neither of Sterling Reserve expressions carry an age-statement. They are blends of Scottish malts and Indian spirits combined in undisclosed proportions. The name Jardine Crescent, named after Alexander Jardine has been cited as the source by ABD.

Sterling Reserve made a grand entry into the Indian whisky scene. Since ABD are big players in India, the newly launched brand did not face much difficulty gaining a foothold in the market. Based on ABD’s existing goodwill and established distribution network, the Sterling Reserve brand managed to make its presence noticed.

Sterling Reserve Blend 10 faces tough competition from established brands in the premium Indian whisky segment. Yet the brand’s strong entry into the category seems promising but only time will tell how much space Sterling Reserve Blend 10 will carve for itself.

Who Takes The Title Of The Best Indian Premium Blend?

The competition between Blenders Pride Rare Premium and Sterling Reserve Blend 10 is direct, and heating up as the days go by. These are two brands competing with each other for the chance to dominate one of the hottest spaces in the Indian whisky industry.

The Premium Indian Whisky segment represents the desire of the urban Indian whisky drinker to move upwards, towards more premium products. It is the gateway to the entry level blended Scotch whisky segment, and is currently under the dominion of Blenders Pride.

Blenders Pride

Blenders Pride currently rules this segment with nearly 63% of the market share, selling more than 7.3 million cases annually. These figures, from 2018 indicate a double-digit growth for the Blenders Pride brand.

Sterling Reserve on the other hand is a new player that has made its presence felt among the heavyweights. ABD sold 1 million cases of Sterling Reserve within a year of the brand’s launch. An impressive feat, it might not prove to be enough to dethrone Blenders Pride soon.

Commercially, there are few to pose a challenge to Blenders Pride’s supremacy. Let us move to a more qualitative analysis to the two competing brands in order to find the best Indian premium whisky.

Blenders Pride Rare Premium is renowned for its smoothness and pleasant flavours. These qualities are made possible by the brand’s superior single malt whiskies supplied by the Chivas Brothers, one of Scotland’s most respected blending houses. The smoky, fruity aromas coupled with a mellow, sweet and creamy palate give Blenders Pride Rare Premium a really pleasant flavour profile. The overall experience is well-balanced, and the finish is soothing, long and warm.

Sterling Reserve Blend 10

Now let us try the Sterling Reserve Blend 10 to see how the challenger fares on our taste test. Sterling Reserve’s Blend 10 expression is relatively smoother than the Blend 7, with aromas of heather, malted barley and freshly cut grass. Flavours on the palate are caramelized oak, vanilla and some citrus peel. The finish is warm, short and slightly acetone. We tried the Sterling Reserve Blend 10 with a splash of water, but the results were not too different. The whisky was milder, smoother but it lost some of its flavours to dilution.

It’s time for The Whiskypedia’s verdict on the battle between Blenders Pride Rare Premium and Sterling Reserve Blend 10. Our choice for the best Indian premium whisky is undoubtedly, and hands down, Blenders Pride Rare Premium. Sterling Reserve Blend 10 might have mounted a worthy challenge, but their commercial and critical performance is not yet enough to dethrone Blenders Pride, arguably one of the finest premium Indian blends ever created.