If getting back home at the end of a tiring day, with a whiskey bottle waiting to ‘lift your spirits’ is the kind of joke that makes you chuckle, you are at the right place. If you are new to the world of whiskey and looking for budget buys for a smooth ride, you are too at the exact place you need to be.
While connoisseurs don’t mind spending a fortune on expensive whiskey bottles, we get it that you want to take it slow and you like your transition like you like your whiskies and single malts – smooth. Which is why we are here with our recommendations of the best whiskies under Rs 3000 that you can add to your arsenal. From sweeter flavours of bourbon to more robust flavours of rye whiskies, whatever you are looking for, we’ve charted them all, so that you don’t have to. Get frisky with whiskey with our top picks!
Check out our complete guide on whiskies in India.
Whiskey bottles under Rs 3000 for a smooth ride on a budget
Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition
If Irish whiskey distilled in craft beer barrels sounds like an exciting match, this whiskey bottle is something for you to own. Triple-distilled, blended Irish Whiskey patiently finished in Irish craft beer-seasoned barrels, Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition is the result of a conversation between Jameson’s Head of Whiskey Science and the Head Brewer of a local craft beer brewery. On the nose, it will give you an aroma of freshly cut hay complemented by a crisp fruit note. The initial sweet taste of Irish whiskey will soon lead you to the hops and cocoa beans from the beer cask finish, while the finish is long, with sweet notes of rich milk chocolate and butterscotch.
Price: Rs 2,800 (Delhi)
Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon
The OG bourbon in most Indian bars, this elegant and smooth whiskey is aged for four years in newly charred American white oak barrels, giving it the distinct character that Jim Beam is known for. Sticking to their great grandfather’s recipe, Jim Beam has been crafted by the Beam family since 1975. With an oaky vanilla aroma against a spicy backdrop, this is a medium-bodied bourbon with mellow flavours of vanilla and caramel.
Price: Rs 1,540 (Delhi)
From the distilleries of Radico Khaitan, Royal Ranthambore is for the premium consumers, epitomising royalty. This royal crafted rare whiskey is inspired by the Royal Bengal Tiger of Bengal, telling the story of a bygone era. The golden hue of the drink, complemented by a touch of amber will remind you of the tigers of Ranthambore. Featuring a warm and intense orchard fruit aroma, it will remind you of the richness of English muffins, butter, apple pie and plum cakes on your palate, against the backdrop of spicy peaty smoke. The finish is a long one that smoothes out slowly.
Price: Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000, depending on the state
Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve
The only blended whiskey to be produced through a triple maturation process, this is a blend of 25 whiskies that bring together the distinct flavours from all of Scotland. To make this, malt and grain whiskies are separately aged in American Bourbon barrels and then subsequently blended. It is then matured again in oloroso sherry butts for some more time. This entire technique gives this whisky bottle a blend of unique flavour and delicate finish.
Price: Rs 2,190 (Delhi)
Johnnie Walker Red Label
One of the bestselling Scotch whiskies in the world, it all starts with malting where high-starch grains are converted into soluble sugars. These are then dried and fermented until it is time to draw out those essential sugars. Then it goes through distillation and maturing. This whiskey bottle opens with the aroma of citrusy fruitness, and then leads you to notes of black pepper and cinnamon on your palate, ending with a lingering smoky finish.
Price: Rs 2,260 (Delhi)
Teacher’s Highland Cream
A brand of blended Scotch whisky produced in Glasgow, Scotland by Beam Suntory, this whiskey is characterised by a unique crunchy maltiness, much like biting into a nut brittle. This peated malt whiskey features rich and smoky undertones with a silky texture, making it favourite worldwide.
Price: Rs 2,060 (Delhi)
From the house of Piccadilly Distillery, this single malt finds its origins in the lanes of a quaint Haryana village called Indri, nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas. It has been launched in 2022 itself, and is already making a mark out in the world with several awards to its credit already, at the International Wine and Spirits Competition 2022, World Whiskey Awards and more. Using the traditional Indian six row barley, matured in selected barrels, and blended carefully to bring out the Individual contribution of each wood, Indri Trini is crafted by masters of the game. With hints of black tea, caramelised pineapple with a whiff of oak from the barrel, it has a mellow aroma that hits the nose. Its subtle spice and wood characters greet your palate next, followed by nutty flavours and hints of burnt pineapple, citrus and raisins. Finally, it has a subtle and balanced finish, leaving behind a smooth and long aftertaste.
Price: Rs 2,800 (Gurgaon)
Woodburns Contemporary Indian Whiskey
This whiskey bottle features a rich Indian malt whiskey that’s aged in handcrafted matured oak wood barrels that are charred to perfection by the finest coopers in the country. As a result, you have a full-bodied whisky that offers dark, bold and dignified flavours and a bold, smoky front, complemented by a peated malt finish. It is produced at Fullarton Distilleries in Candepar, Goa.
Price: Rs 1,500 (Delhi)
Monkey Shoulder Scotch Whiskey
One of the smoothest and best whiskies in India, Monkey Shoulder is the absolute best whiskey bottles that you can get for under Rs 3,000. A blended malt whiskey made with a blend of single malts from three famous Speyside distilleries, it gets its name from the Scottish slang for a muscular strain suffered by malt men when whiskey was still made by hand. A smooth, creamy, supple and very malty Scotch, this one’s great to go neat, on-the-rocks or in whiskey cocktails.
Price: Rs 2,900 (Delhi)
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