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Scotch to straight: Whiskies under Rs 2000 for your on-the-rocks ritual

From being the most-favoured spirit at weddings to having glitzy cameos in Bollywood movies — India’s tryst with all things malt is undeniable. Naturally, there’s scores of delicious blends in the market to choose from. We’re sipping our way through some of the smoothest whisky renditions that are just under Rs 2000 in Delhi-NCR.

Single malts are undeniably the creme-de-la-creme of the whisky world. That said, if you’d like something a bit more wallet-friendly for the everyday dram, you don’t have to look too hard. Between a blended scotch that’s been aged 12 years and the world’s most popular bourbon — quality whisky by a master distiller is just Rs 2000 away, especially if you’re in Delhi-NCR. We’ve listed out a few of the more popular ambers to try on for size.

Smooth malts on a budget: 8 whisky options under Rs 2000

Johnnie Walker Black Label

Starting this list out strong is the brand that’s known for producing some of the finest blended scotch whiskies in the business. Johnnie Walker’s Black Label is an award-winning amber that features Scottish malt and grain whiskies that have been matured for over 12 years. Every sip of this spirit offers notes of dark fruits, sweet vanilla, and smoke. There are unmissable hints of oak and creamy toffee as well. Complex and rich, this one’s a timeless classic. Have it neat, over ice, or in a highball.

Price: Rs. 1,900 approx. (750 ml)

Jameson Irish Whisky

Another popular brand when it comes to smooth malts, Jameson is known for its Irish blended whiskies. Triple distilled and a balanced blend of single pot still and fine grain whisky, this particular one is a wildly popular spirit. Known to be one of whisky critic and journalist Jim Murray’s favourites, the creamy and smooth flavour makes it a crowd-pleaser. On the nose are floral, vanilla, and spice notes. Every sip has hints of nuts and sweet sherry, with a mellow finish. Have this on the rocks or top it up with ginger ale.

Price: Rs. 1,500 approx. (750 ml)

Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon

whisky under 2000

This American bourbon brand has been around since 1795. Over the years, it has solidified its reputation for being one of the most popular in the business. The Kentucky Straight Bourbon is their first rendition, with a recipe that is credited to their great-great-grandfather. Aged for four years in American white oak barrels, the copper gold spirit is smooth and elegant. Every sip of the medium-bodied whisky offers notes of caramel and vanilla with hints of oak, apple, and cinnamon spice on the nose. Smooth and mellow, this one’s easy to drink and works well in cocktails. It also has no additives.

Price: Rs. 1,600 approx. (1000 ml)

Ballantine’s 12 Year Old

whisky under 2000

Elegance meets complex flavours with this brand that draws from four renowned whisky regions of Scotland, namely Speyside, Highlands, Islay, and Lowlands. Their 12-year old blended scotch is an award-winning rich, smooth, and sophisticated option that has a golden-honey hue. On the nose are hints of honey, oak, and vanilla while each sip offers floral notes. The finish is refreshing and sweet. Incorporate this into a classic Rob Roy or have it on the rocks.

Price: Rs. 1,900 approx. (750 ml)

100 Pipers Blended Scotch Whisky 12 Years

whisky under 2000

Seagram’s 100 Pipers might just be one of the most recognizable Indian brands, not just within the country but globally. A leading producer of Scotch, you’d be hard pressed to find a bar that doesn’t feature a bottle of their ambers. The 12 year edition has a smooth, smoky, complex, and well-rounded character. On the nose are hints of fruit, vanilla, and honey while each sip offers flavours of smoky peat and flowers. A long, mellow finish completes the experience of savouring this whisky.

Price: Rs. 1,500 approx. (750 ml)

Teacher’s Origin Blended Scotch Whisky

With a history that dates back as far as 175 years, Teacher’s is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to scotch. Their Origin Scotch Whisky is a unique blend that pays tribute to the eponymous founder William Teacher who believed that higher malt proportions equaled smoother finish. As such, the spirit is 65 percent malt and is aged in traditional 18th century quarter casks. On the nose are hints of smoke, fruit, and toffee while each sip offers notes of peat, wood, and spice. The finish is sweet, with lingering earthen flavours. This one’s a connoisseur’s delight.

Price: Rs. 1,800 approx. (750 ml)

The Famous Grouse

Positioned as Scotland’s favourite whisky for over 40 years, The Famous Grouse offers balanced spirits. First produced in 1860, this particular spirit contains a malt blend that’s rested longer for smoothness and filtered at high temperatures for richness. The payoff is a golden-clear libation that has hints of candied fruits, shortbread, and citrus on the nose as well as notes of dried fruit, cinnamon, ginger, and oak in every sip. Combine that with a smooth finish and you’ve got yourself a must-try whisky.

Price: Rs. 1,300 approx. (750 ml)

Paul John Nirvana

Rounding out this list is a polarising, yet popular brand that comes from India’s party destination, Goa. Paul John Nirvana is an unpeated single malt that’s both captivating and unique. On the nose are hints of fruitcake, honeycomb, and caramel while each sip presents notes of apricots, raisins, and apples. Deep copper in colour, the finish is satisfyingly long with malt undertones slow to fade out. A popular beginner single malt, your mileage may vary with this one. That aside, it’s one of the most recommended whisky option under Rs 2000.

Price: Rs. 1,800 approx. (750 ml)

All images: Courtesy brands

Check out our complete guide on whiskies in India.

Scotch to straight: Whiskies under Rs 2000 for your on-the-rocks ritual

Eshita is a food, alcohol, travel, and entertainment writer who spends her days zeroing in on the next big trend to write about. She’s a communication graduate with bylines in Conde Nast Traveller India, GQ India, Deccan Herald, and Girls Buzz. When not at work, you’re likely to find her hunting for a good read or charting out the perfect itinerary for a solo trip across Asia.

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