Indian Whisky Brand Champion 2020: Sterling Reserve

22nd June, 2020 by admin
Sterling Reserve

Sterling Reserve has been crowned Indian Whisky Brand Champion 2020 due to a second phenomenal year of growth

*The online Indian Whisky Brand Champion differs from that published in the June 2020 edition of The Spirits Business magazine due to incorrect figures supplied by Bangalore Malt Whisky owner John Distilleries. These figures have been updated for the online version of The Brand Champions 2020 report.

The Indian spirits market is unlike any other. It can be wildly unpredictable, falling into its own set of spirits sub‐categories, ranging from economy to super‐premium and everything in between. Global brands have been hindered by the 152% import tariff kept in place by the country’s government, but Indian whisky producers continue to excel – particularly in their homeland – as a result.

Last year, the title of Indian Whisky Brand Champion was bestowed upon a newcomer to the category, Sterling Reserve. After launching in the final quarter of 2017, the brand smashed through the million-case sales mark in its first nine months of trading.

Sterling Reserve, owned by Allied Blenders & Distillers (ABD), managed to build on its exceptional performance further in 2019, claiming the title of Indian Whisky Brand Champion 2020. In 2019, the brand’s momentum strengthened, driving volumes up by 131.4% to reach 2.8m cases.

The range features two expressions: Sterling Reserve Blend 10 (or B10) and Sterling Reserve Blend 7 (B7). B10 is a chill-filtered blended whisky made from imported Scotch malt whiskies and Indian grain whisky. B7 is also a blend of Scotch malt whiskies and Indian grain whiskies, and is matured in charred oak casks.

While Imperial Blue didn’t report the same level of growth, the whisky delivered a strong double‐digit increase of 16% from an already large base. The Pernod Ricard‐owned brand shifted 26.3m cases in 2019.

However, a number of brands experienced significant drops in volume sales, including ABD’s Officer’s Choice, which saw sales tumble 10% to 30.6m cases, and John Distilleries’ Bangalore Malt Whisky, which fell by 18.3% to 4.2m.

*The Brand Champions data is listed to one decimal place for ease of reading, but the percentage changes are based on the full data supplied. All brand data is supplied in millions of nine-­litre cases.

Indian whisky (figures: million 9l case sales)

BRAND OWNER 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 %+/-
McDowell’s No. 1 Whisky United Spirits 25.7 26.6 26.4 29.0 30.7 6.0%
Officer’s Choice Allied Blenders & Distillers 32.9 32.9 32.0 34.0 30.6 -10.0%
Imperial Blue Pernod Ricard 17.5 18.0 19.0 22.7 26.3 16.0%
Royal Stag Pernod Ricard 17.3 18.0 18.7 21.6 22.0 2.1%
Original Choice John Distilleries 10.7 10.1 10.3 11.5 12.7 10.3%
Haywards Fine United Spirits 7.1 7.9 8.5 9.4 9.6 2.1%
8PM Radico Khaitan 4.1 5.7 7.0 8.2 8.5 3.9%
Blenders Pride Pernod Ricard 5.6 6.2 6.4 7.3 7.7 4.6%
Bagpiper United Spirits 7.3 7.2 5.8 5.6 6.1 9.0%
Royal Challenge United Spirits 3.6 4.7 4.5 5.6 5.5 -0.4%
Old Tavern United Spirits 11.0 9.9 7.1 6.2 5.3 -13.8%
Bangalore Malt Whisky John Distilleries 1.1 2.1 3.6 5.2 4.2 -18.3%
Director’s Special Whisky United Spirits 5.0 5.0 4.1 4.2 4.2 0.0%
Sterling Reserve Premium Whiskies Allied Blenders & Distillers N/A N/A N/A 1.2 2.8 131.4%
White & Blue Alcobrew 1.2 1.4 1.6 2.1 2.4 12.6%
Signature Whisky United Spirits 1.5 1.8 2.0 2.3 2.3 0.0%

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