CASK Strength and ABV
May 9, 2013
Independent Bottlers
May 29, 2013

Bull Run

smac-india

 

An eventful week it has been for me! Cut open and stitched up….ah well it is a minor surgery so no panic or sale of my collection ;). The grouse I nurture apart from my wound is the fact that the best antibiotic can’t be administered!

Come to think of the history of the “aqua vitae”, this WAS the purpose of the liquid!!!And doctors today advice against it! Pity that the doctors did not take my advice on whisky history seriously.

Meanwhile history was being recorded in the whisky world by India, wonder if any of you paid attention to the article in the Times of India on the 18th of March 2013 in the business edition.  I have attached the link for reader’s interest. Well it is a known fact that world’s largest whisky consumer is India and it has been for some time. Yes, of course the “Whisky” that actually clocks this record can be of debatable grade, but yes the McDowell No:1 Whisky from India is making Johnnie walk!

I was also pulled into the discussion about a dubious article on premium whisky at Malt Maniacs! In a nutshell it speaks about the “Whisky Investment” and related sentiments. Most members of the maniacs would be kind if they agree with me that this is creative rubbish. Below link will guide you to this article I am talking about.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/david-robertson/whisky-made-in-scotland-enjoyed-everywhere_b_3290783.htm?

What really got me writing was the future in India as such for whisky. Some of us would have read Mr. Sandeep Arora’s take on premium drinks and whisky investment, but I would want you to think of the two articles I have mentioned above in cohesion.  With India being the largest producer of Whisky and being the largest consumer for sometime will it herald the bull run?? An evolving economy, increasing disposable income, exposure to global dining trends and population of close to 1.3 billion! That combination I would say has; if not for anything, the potential to push the pedal.

I am only 34 but I can assure you of The Glen Livet or Glenmorangie never being sold at the local retailer 10 years back, today the stuff is available at every well stocked store! “Amrut Fusion” the pride of India gets sold off shelves within a week or ten days of stock arrival in Bangalore! Now please bear in mind that the taxes on imported scotch is 130-180%. Assuming that this tax is going to come down from its obscene figures to more acceptable figures what’s going to happen? Are we going to see a shift then in customer preference? Are they going to forgo the molasses based whisky for the barley based one? Is Glen Livet going to sell more than Chivas Regal? Is McDowell going to be shown the door? I don’t think so…while the volume for premium drinks will surely go up, the one on the throne is not going to relinquish soon. In 2010 World Bank reported that 32.7% of the population in India is below the poverty line and that has not changed much over the last three years. There is always going to be a need for affordable and cheap alcohol in India.

What is actually a point to ponder is if the other half will tilt the scales. The percentage can be miniscule but the number will be staggering. For easier mental math; if the premium whisky consumer in India , who prefers the Scotch brand ‘100 Pipers’ from Pernod shifted their loyalty by two percent during the year the beneficiary whisky sales will rise by close to half a million bottles!! Now tell me that such an event will not increase the price of my beloved 28 Year old, I will be a very happy man.

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