Royal Stag Vs Royal Challenge

Find out the Difference Between Royal Challenge and Royal Stag

The Indian appetite for whisky is as legendary as the legend of Hercules himself, and we are not the world’s largest whisky consuming nation for no reason! At the heart of this profoundly Indian penchant for whisky are home-grown brands that form a huge chunk of India’s whisky demands.

While ultra-premium brands, both single malt, and blended, are vastly popular in India, blended Indian whiskies exceed all expectations when it comes to the volume of their success and consumption. Divided into segments based on their quality and pricing, the Indian whisky market’s most popular bracket is the one between deluxe and premium segments.

Seagram’s Royal Stag, and United Spirits’ Royal Challenge are two immensely popular brands that occupy this segment. Vying for the loyalties of the Indian whisky drinker, these brands have been around for decades, and continue to evoke an immense loyalty among their drinkers.

Seagram’s Royal Stag is one of the most iconic, and preferred Indian whisky brands. Released in 1995, it is a blend of imported Scotch malts mixed with the finest Indian grain spirits and was one of the first brands to opt not to reuse their bottles or add flavours to their whisky.

It also holds the distinction of being one of the fastest growing Indian whisky brands, capturing the 1 million cases milestone within 6 years of its initial launch in the Indian market. By 2007, Royal Stag was selling nearly 5.6 million cases annually. Per reports, this iconic brand is redefining success by selling nearly 19 million cases annually.

United Spirits’ Royal Challenge was first introduced in the Indian market by Shaw & Wallace during the 1980s, and continues to be one of the popular Indian whisky brands. Created by neutral spirits and Scotch malts, and Indian grain spirits, Royal Challenge was the market leader in the category until 2004 after which it was overtaken by Royal Stag. In 2007, Royal Challenge was trailing in the Indian market, selling 1.2 million cases annually, and the company claims it has been selling 4.5million cases on their website.

The disparity between the two brands suggests a clear audience preference towards Royal Stag, although for all intents and purposes, let us continue our evaluation of the Royal Stag Vs Royal Challenge debate.

When it comes to whisky, the tasting notes are what truly define a well-made spirit, and pitting these two popular brands against each other is an interesting proposition.

 Royal Stag

The tasting notes carried by Royal Stag are as follows;


A leafy aroma with generous hints of fruitiness and smoke.


A medium bodied, well-rounded palate with traces of fruity smokiness.


A pleasant, smooth finish.

The Royal Challenge brand of whiskies carry the following tasting notes;


Strong aromas of molasses with hints of burnt caramel.


Sweet, with a strong taste of molasses and a hint of smoke.


Long finish, with a hint of sweetness.