From smoky sips to fruity numbers — in the heady world of whiskey, some of the best-selling bottles are courtesy of distilleries in Scotland. And although most of them cost the earth, a few brands offer budget expressions that are as smooth as they come. We’re sipping our way through the best Scotch whiskies under INR 2000.
India’s ever-growing appetite for smoke and oak is underlined by a unique preference for malts from Caledonia. The country recently toppled decades-long frontrunner France to become the world’s largest Scotch market. And with over 219 million bottles being imported in 2022 alone, it’s no surprise that a quick visit to the alcohol store will reveal a dizzyingly large set of Scotch whiskey options under INR 2000.
Marked by a sharp, smoky flavour, these are produced in Scotland and come in several iterations — single malt, blended, single grain, blended malt, and blended grain, amongst others. Dubbed the creme-de-la-creme of the whiskey world, these expressions often come with sky-high prices — making them inaccessible to a large set of amber aficionados. However, a few brands have delicious Scotch whiskey options that will only set you back by INR 2000. We take a look at a few that deserve a spot in your home bar.
Best Scotch whiskey in India under INR 2000
Black and White Scotch
Promising Scotland’s finest ingredients, this full-bodied number was crafted to be a crowd pleaser. Naturally, every sip of this Scotch under INR 2000 is as smooth as they come. Aged for three years, this whiskey pours a pale gold. Fresh, creamy, and sweet, it offers notes of peat, vanilla, honey, and oak. There’s also an underlying fruity and nutty quality to savouring this one.
Price: INR 2000 approx.
100 Pipers Deluxe Blended Scotch Whiskey
Curated by the Chivas Brothers — the name behind some of the world’s best Scotch whiskies — this libation owes its name to the Scottish tradition of bagpipers leading soldiers into battle. It also happens to be India’s largest-selling blended Scotch whiskey under INR 2000. Every bottle comes with 25-30 meticulously-selected malt whiskies — the best in the Speyside region. Every sip of this full-bodied, well-rounded number is reminiscent of honey, smoke, vanilla, fruit, and oak.
Price: INR 2,000 approx.
One of the best-selling Scotch whiskies in the world, one would be hard pressed to find a restaurant bar across the world that doesn’t feature this bottle. A fusion of 42 single malt and grain whiskies — the finest in Speyside, Scotland — it’s smoky, malty, and complex. This Scotch under INR 2000 pours light and comes with nutty, fresh, grassy whiffs. Every sip is reminiscent of fruit salad, spice, and cereal. This one’s ideal for mixing and is several bartenders’ go-to.
Price: INR 1,900 approx.
Teacher’s Highland Cream
With the exquisite smoked peated Ardmore single malt as its fingerprint whiskey, this blended Scotch is as smooth as they come. It pours a rich amber and is intense and smoky. On the nose are hints of apples, pears, honey, and smoke. Every sip is warm with the finish being well balanced and clean. No surprises why a bottle of this whiskey is popular amongst malt connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike.
Price: INR 1,800 approx.
William Lawson’s Scotch
A top-selling name in the whiskey world, this Scotch is dubbed one of William Lawson’s best blends. The single malt of Macduff distillery is its fingerprint amber. This is then fused with a range of bold malts and grain numbers that have a fruit-forward character. The payoff? A medium-bodied, sweet sip with notes of cereal, green apple, and butter toffee.
Price: INR 1,700
Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve
The only blended Scotch whiskey produced through a triple maturation process, the unique flavour of Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve is achieved by separately ageing malt and grain whiskies in American bourbon barrels. It is then matured in oloroso sherry butts for an extended period of time. The spirit has sweet undertones of caramelised peaches, vanilla and butterscotch. It boasts a warm finish.
Price: INR 1,550 approx.
The Famous Grouse
The Famous Grouse: First crafted in 1860, this whiskey has held the reputation of being Scotland’s favourite for over 40 years. The bottle features the country’s national game bird and flies off of shelves across the globe. A blend of exceptional expressions including The Macallan and Highland Park is filtered at high temperatures for richness and rested long for smoothness. This pour’s golden with whiffs of candied fruits, citrus, and shortbread. Every sip of this Scotch whiskey under INR 2000 is reminiscent of cinnamon, ginger, dried fruit, and oak. The finish, meanwhile, is smooth.
Price: INR 1,400 approx.
This popular whiskey made by William Sanderson in 1882, is widely considered to be one of the best blenders of Scotch in Scotland. Layered with soft notes of wheat, caramel, pear juice and barley malt, this Scotch whiskey boasts a woody and spiced finish.
Price: INR 750 approx.
All images: Courtesy Brands/Shutterstock
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
– Which Scotch is best under 2000?
William Lawsons’s, Teacher’s Highland Cream, 100 Pipers Deluxe, and Black and White are amongst the best Scotch options under INR 2,000.
– Which is the cheapest Scotch whiskey in India?
The Famous Grouse, William Lawson’s, and J&B rare are amongst the most wallet-friendly Scotch options.
– Which Scotch is tasty?
Bottles by Macallan, Glenmorangie, and Glenlivet (amongst others) are believed to be some of the world’s most delicious.