World Whisky Day is fast approaching on Saturday the 19th May 2018.
As part of the build up I’m featuring a series of blogs – both old and new – over the next month focusing on a country from each letter of the alphabet – if possible – that makes whisky.
Today is I for Indian Whisky.
It would have been very easy for me to focus on Irish whiskey.
Possibly even Italian whisky.
But living in the global village – I reach out for the biggest selling brand of whisky in the world.
Which I failed to get hold of.
So I give you the world’s 2nd biggest selling whisky in the world.
McDowell’s No 1 Reserve Whisky.
Selling an astronomical 25.5 million 9 litre cases 2016.
Johnnie Walker – the top selling Scotch – comes in at 17.4 million cases.
Jack Daniels – the top selling Bourbon – at 12.4 million.
Whilst Jameson – the top selling Irish – comes in at 6.2 million.
7 of the top 10 biggest sellers in the world are Indian whiskies.
Which considering they aren’t exactly household names in Europe is rather surprising. Especially when for the most part there are very familiar companies behind these brands.
So what does McDowell’s No 1 taste like?
To begin with the nose is rather soft & sweet grainy. None of that over powering added caramel hit I’ve experienced with other mass market blends.
In the mouth it’s also rather easy drinking. No strong flavours or notes. Just a gentle soft heat mixed in with a pleasant graininess & a slight chemically industrial note which doesn’t overwhelm the experience.
What flavour there is fades fast – but the warmth stays for a while.
I’ve had a few whiskies of this style from around the world.
Scotch is imported in bulk, blended with locally produced distillate made from easily available home grown grain/rice/molasses – which are all legally permitted in the country of origin – to make the final product, which is generally only sold in the country of manufacture.
McDowell’s No 1 stands out as one of the finest of these.
A friend kindly brought it back from Nigeria for me. Africa is a market Indian Whisky is expanding into. Which has led to action from the Scottish Whisky Association (SWA) which you can read about here.
Maybe I’m missing something though.
Isn’t Diageo a member of the SWA?
And a certain Scottish gentleman by the name of Mr Angus McDowell founded a company in India back in 1898 to service the needs of ex-pats stationed there?
The very company Diageo is now the majority share holder of?
Heritage in a bottle indeed.