Author Archives: Sanchit Mishra

William Grant continues to grow with a positive momentum

With an evolving Indian consumer and alcobev market, William Grant & Sons has one of the most enviable portfolios in the industry. From award winning whiskies to popular gins, the company has been enjoying a healthy growth for the past few years. Sachin Mehta, Country Director, William Grant & Sons spoke to Bhavya Desai about the Indian market and the future roadmap for the company. Excerpts:

The overall business has been good for William Grants & Sons (WGS). It’s been growing at a healthy pace informs Sachin Mehta, the Country Director of WGS. The past 3–4-years have been particularly positive as Indian consumers are seeking and appreciating more premium and high-quality and prestigious products. “Our portfolio allows for a great fit to this trend of growing premium and luxury consumption growth in India,” he adds.

And if this trend is anything to go by then the future surely looks bright, with the Indian consumer looking towards more premiumisation, especially since WGS’ portfolio includes some of the most popular brands on the global stage. This includes brands like Grant’s Scotch Whisky, Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, Hendrick’s Gin, Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky and The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Sachin is also delighted to see brands like Hendrick’s, which has led, created and established the premium gin category, on the other hand, Monkey Shoulder has trended very well with its unique premium offering for the young and aware consumer. “We are blessed that our brands and quality liquid is loved by consumers here.”

Despite the popularity and the evolving pallet of the Indian consumer, WGS has no plans of creating specific products for the Indian pallet, not for the near future at least. “Our products have found a good preference to the Indian consumer’s pallet. The Indian consumers now have an evolved preference in line with the most developed in the world. At William Grant & Sons, we are committed to quality premium offerings to consumers and our current portfolio fits well to the evolving preferences of consumers.”

What’s interesting is that despite have a more premium portfolio, WGS has been successfully targetting the more affluent consumer, and the strategy is simple, with the Indian consumer evolving and seeking premiumisation across categories, from watches to cars to high-end spirits etc. – their brands cater to this growing demand for luxury products with their quality liquid.

Combine that with special liquids like the limited-edition releases and aged expressions, offered to collectors and explorers, better availability, an increasingly aware premium consumer and the retail experience have been key drivers in the recent past.

At the company’s UP bottling plant, the company bottles the two variants of Grant’s currently in India – Grant’s Triple Wood and Grant’s Distinction, in the blended scotch whisky category. Overall Grant’s continues to grow with a positive momentum with a dynamic play between the variants depending on the RTM of the state. “We are committed to continue to offer more variants to our consumer on Grants in the future.”

Undoubtedly, India is an important market for WGS not only because it’s growing, but also from the economic front and consumers preferences, tastes and premiumisation. India is now an important part of the global plans across categories and brands. “For example, we recently introduced the Grand Series, with Glenfiddich 21-year-old “Gran Reserve” and Glenfiddich 26-year-old “Grande Couronne”, Glenfiddich 29-Year-Old “Grand Yozakura” and the Time series with Glenfiddich 30-Year-Old – some of them limited editions and some of them rare and unique variants.”

Similarly, there are additional variants being introduced on The Balvenie Range as well. While many of these are still limited and allocated quantities – such variants now being offered to India reflects their commitment and focus on India as a market.

“We have also introduced Smokey Monkey, a new variant of Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Whisky which was highly appreciated for its Smokey taste amongst our consumers. Similarly, Hendrick’s brings its limited-edition variants from the “Cabinet of Curiosity” to explore some curious offerings in India. Starting with Hendrick’s Midsummer Solstice in 2021, followed by Hendrick’s Lunar, Hendrick’s Neptunia, and, most recently, Hendrick’s Flora Adora.”

Allied Blenders and Distillers Limited gets SEBI nod for Rs 1500 crore IPO

Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) maker Allied Blenders and Distillers (ABD) has received final observation from the capital markets regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), to raise Rs 1500 crore through an initial public offering (IPO). The Company had refiled its IPO papers with Sebi on January 15, 2024.

The shares are offered at a face value of Rs 2 and is a mix of fresh issue of up to Rs 1000 crore and an offer for sale of up to Rs 500 crore by Promoters and Promoter Group. The offer for sale comprises up to Rs 250 crore by Bina Kishore Chhabria, Rs 125 crore by Resham Chhabria Jeetendra Hemdev and Rs 125 crore by Neesha Kishore Chhabria. It also includes a reservation for subscription by eligible employees. The proceeds from its fresh issuance to the extent of Rs 720 crore will be utilized for prepayment or scheduled re-payment of a portion of debt and for general corporate purposes. 

A press release from the company said that in consultation with the book-running lead managers, it may go for a preferential issue or any other method for a consideration aggregating up to Rs 200 crore as “Pre-IPO placement”. If such placement is completed, the issue size will be reduced.

ABD’s brand  Officer’s Choice Whisky in the mass premium segment has a market share of 11.8% in Fiscal 2023 in the Indian whisky market, highlighting their strong position as a leading exporter of IMFL.

Over the years, ABD has expanded and introduced products across various categories and segments. Allied Blenders and Distillers have successfully leveraged their strength in the popular segment to launch successful brands in both prestige and premium segments. The company has shifted its focus from mass whisky segment to premiumization, with the launch of brands like ICONiQ White Whisky, Srishti Whisky, and X&O Barrel Whisky.

ICONiQ White Whisky touched 2 million cases in its first year of launch. Additionally, in January 2024, ABD introduced Zoya Special Batch Premium Gin, further expanding their product offerings beyond whisky.

The Company has a nationwide sales and distribution network spanning 30 states and union territories, with products available in 79,329 outlets. As of August 31, 2023, their product portfolio comprised 17 major brands of IMFL across whisky, brandy, rum, and vodka.

ICICI Securities Limited, Nuvama Wealth Management Limited, and ITI Capital Limited, are the book-running lead managers, and Link Intime India Private Limited is the registrar of the offer. The equity shares are proposed to be listed on the BSE and NSE.

Glenmorangie unveils first Calvados cask finish as 12-Year-Old small batch whisky in India

Glenmorangie Highland single malt Scotch whisky is set to launch a uniquely fruity and floral whisky – its first ever finished in French Calvados casks. Glenmorangie Calvados Cask Finish is the fifth release in the Distillery’s Barrel Select Release series of small-batch single malts, which explores the flavours that arise from different cask finishes. Entwining scents of jasmine with baked apples and pears, this rare 12-year-old bottling offers new mellow depths to Glenmorangie’s signature fruity tones.

For 180 years, Glenmorangie’s whisky makers have been endlessly imaginative on their quest to create delicious single malt whiskies for more people to enjoy. Led by acclaimed Director of Whisky Creation Dr Bill Lumsden, they craft their delicate, fruity spirit in stills as tall as a giraffe to allow more space for taste and aroma, then age it in the world’s finest casks. Some time ago, Dr Bill became fascinated by the soft, orchard notes of Calvados, which is distilled from apples (and sometimes pears) in France. And he began to wonder how these casks – never used before at Glenmorangie – might further enhance the whisky’s classic, fruity finesse.

Inspired to experiment, he took a whisky which had spent more than 10 years ageing in American white oak bourbon casks, for Glenmorangie’s elegant style. He transferred that whisky into casks which, for 20 years, had held Calvados du Pays d’Auge, from Normandy, in France. After a carefully judged finish, Dr Bill’s creation was ready to share. Soft and delectably rich, Glenmorangie Calvados Cask Finish unites mellow fruits of baked apples and pears with subtle notes of jasmine, narcissus and vanilla.

Dr Bill said, “At Glenmorangie, we are always experimenting with ways to create delicious whiskies. Since Calvados casks have never been used before at Glenmorangie, I was intrigued to see how their elegant, orchard notes would complement our whisky’s award-winning fruity style, with a judicious finish. Glenmorangie Calvados Finish is a wonderful addition to our Barrel Select Release series of small-batch single malts. Entwining scents of baked pears, vanilla and jasmine with tastes of toffee apples, lemon balsam and spice, this rare whisky takes all that is good about Glenmorangie, to richly delicious new heights.”

From Indian whisky connoisseurs to collectors, this limited-edition malt is sure to garner many eyeballs. Glenmorangie Calvados is currently available in Mumbai priced at ₹7,050.  

ICONiQ Whisky reaches 2 million cases in first year of launch

Allied Blenders and Distillers (ABD) ICONiQ White Whisky reached a sales figure of 2 million cases of 9 litres each in March 2024. The brand was able to achieve this despite current availability in 70% of the operational segment. ICONiQ White is available in pack size of i.e., 750 ml, 375 ml,180 ml, 90ml with further market launches will commence in April 2024.

ABD attributes the success of this milestone to its ability to understand its consumer preferences and its capacity to deliver efficiently and effectively. The company has further plans to expand to super-premium segments. ICONiQ White Whisky is a blend of imported Scotch malts aged in bourbon oak casks, blended with select matured malts and Indian grain spirits.

“Delighted to see our strategic focus on premiumisation translate to success with ICONiQ White Whisky against a strong line-up of entrenched multinational brands. It strengthens our resolve to transition to super-premium segments,” said Alok Gupta, Managing Director, ABD India.  Bikram Basu, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, ABD said, “We are happy with the milestone of reaching 2 million cases in our first year. As we celebrate this success, we set our sights higher.”  

Beam Suntory is Now Suntory Global Spirits

Beam Suntory has rebranded itself to become Suntory Global Spirits, marking the 10 years since Suntory acquisitions of Beam Inc. in 2014. The 10 years has seen the company nearly double its growth from a from a $2.5 billion-dollar company to a $5.5 billion-dollar global spirits powerhouse today.

The rebrand includes the launch of a new website and visual identity to celebrate Suntory Global Spirits’ focus on quality, craftsmanship and sustainability –brand attributes that they feel are connected to and complemented by those of its parent company, Suntory Holdings. The rebrand is expected to help the company drive value as one global team and focus on key priorities including American whiskey, Japanese Spirits, Scotch, Tequila and Ready-To-Drink, while providing flexibility for growth in the future. 

Since the acquisition of Beam Inc. in 2014, the company has seen an incredible transformation to become an even stronger organization, led by the shared values of Yatte MinahareGrowing for Good and Giving Back to Society.

“Now is the right moment to deepen our shared passion for the innovation and artistry that deliver incredible experiences through our products and fully unlock our unified advantage across our leading spirits portfolio,” said Tak Niinami, President & CEO of Suntory Holdings and Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors at Suntory Global Spirits. “  

“The dedication that Suntory CEO Tak Niinami and Suntory Holdings have shown to advancing our culture and business growth – while also preserving the legacy of craftsmanship and interplay of traditions exemplified in brands from Jim Beam to Laphroaig and Maker’s Mark to Yamazaki – is extraordinary. Becoming Suntory Global Spirits is the natural next step in our evolution,” said Greg Hughes, President & CEO of Suntory Global Spirits. 

The company’s new brand platform also pays homage to the bold steps that Suntory and Beam Suntory, now Suntory Global Spirits, have taken over the last decade in pursuit of Suntory Global Spirits’ ambition to become the World’s Most Admired Premium Spirits Company.

Rampur Signature Reserve Single Malt sells at Rs. 5 lakhs per bottle

400 Bottles only, Grab it at Hyderabad Airport Duty-Free

Rampur Signature Reserve Single Malt Whisky made history of its own when it the limited release of 400 bottles only sold for Rs. 5 lakhs per bottle. What’s even more surprising is that of the 400 bottles release, only two remain, which can be bought at the Hyderabad Airport Duty Free. The spirit comes from the distillery which produces the oldest single malt in the country.

In commemoration of Rampur Distillery’s 75th anniversary, Radico Khaitan introduced a super luxury variant of Rampur Indian single malt whisky to the international market. The Rampur Signature Reserve Single Malt is aged in American Standard Oak Barrels with handpicked four distinct casks by the master blender, which are then transferred to specially chosen PX Sherry Butts from Jerez, Spain, for the final maturation phase. Radico feels that it is this dedication to precision and excellence sets Rampur Signature Reserve apart as an exceptional expression of Indian whisky artistry.

Each bottle in this limited-edition collection is individually numbered and carries the signatures of Dr. Lalit Khaitan, Chairman, and the Rampur Master Maker, adding a personal touch to its exclusivity.

But if you aren’t able to grab a bottle of this ultra-exclusive offering, then fear not, the Rampur’s Indian Single Malt Whisky collection offers a diverse price range to suit every enthusiast. Beginning with the Rampur Select at Rs 14,000 per bottle in 2016, it includes the now sold-out PX Sherry variant at Rs 12,000 per bottle and the approachable Rampur Double Caskat Rs 8,500 per bottle in 2018. Leading the range is the prestigious Signature Reserve priced at Rs 5,00,000 per bottle, launched in 2018. Accompanying it is the Rampur Asava priced at Rs 10,000 per bottle since 2019.

Travel Retail exclusive, Rampur Trigun at Rs 17,000 per bottle and the Rampur Jugalbandhi series starting at Rs 40,000 per bottle.

Abhishek Khaitan, Managing Director of Radico Khaitan, expressed his excitement about this milestone, stating, “We are thrilled to announce that the last two bottles of Rampur Signature Reserve, out of the 400 bottles produced, are available exclusively at Hyderabad duty-free. This represents not just a whisky, but a legacy of Indian craftsmanship and heritage, inviting enthusiasts, collectors, and travellers to experience the unmatched quality of Radico Khaitan’s offerings.”

In addition to the Rampur Signature Reserve, other spirits like the Rampur Asava Indian Single Malt Whisky, the rich and complex Rampur Double Cask Indian Single Malt Whisky, the acclaimed Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin and Gold edition, and the regal Royal Ranthambore Heritage Collection Whisky are also available at Hyderabad duty-free.

Godawan 100 adjudged ‘Single Malt Whisky of the Year’

Godawan 100, a Collector’s-Edition artisanal single malt, from Diageo India, was adjudged the ‘Single Malt Whisky of the Year’ at the 2024 London Spirits Competition. With 96 points, Godawan 100 topped the score charts in the single malt whisky category from across the world.

Godawan 100 boasts pronounced tropical notes, a lighter palate and a short finish. Its sweet palate reveals notes of caramel, charcoal, cinnamon, and anise, leading to a long, dry finish. Filip Stribrny, Judge, London Spirits Competition, explained “Godawan 100 is a very complex whisky, with rich flavours of dried fruits, sultanas, and dark chocolate. It also has a very balanced flavour profile with a dark, dry finish of oak.” 

As India’s first artisanal single malt whisky from Rajasthan, Godawan is pushing boundaries in whisky craftsmanship and this can be witnessed in the other expressions from the brand portfolio, Godawan01 rich and rounded and Godawan 02 fruit and spicebeing awarded gold medals at the London Spirits Competition 2024. 

“Judges loved the quality of producers from India in the 2024 edition of London Spirits Competition and among the brands, Godawan was the best-preferred brand where all the products from the brand got gold medals,” said Sid Patel, CEO of Beverage Trade Network, organiser of London Spirits Competition. 

These wins add to the Godawan’s record tally of 42 national and international accolades for its liquid innovation, packaging design, and marketing campaigns – establishing it as the most awarded Indian single malt in the recent times. In 2023, the whisky made India proud at the globally renowned Monde Selection Quality Awards in Brussels –securing a Grand Gold Medal for its 02 Fruit and Spice Expression and a Gold Medal for its01 Rich and Rounded expression. 

The whisky is slow-trickle distilled from locally sourced six-row barley, thereby extracting optimal sensory performance. Distilled in Alwar, Rajasthan, the liquid is matured at temperatures exceeding 100°F, resulting in a whisky with a rich and complex character. The arid climatic conditions observed in Godawan contribute to a heightened “Angel’s share” phenomenon, imparting an extraordinary flavour profile that enthralls the senses.  Godawan’s 01 rich and rounded expression offers notes of sultanas and dried fruits on the nose, and raisin, sultana, fig, and apricot on the palate. The finish ends with mature wood, caramel, and a butteriness like baklava. Godawan’s 02 Fruit and Spice expression has fruity aromas on the nose and a palate that boasts rich fruit and floral notes, along with vanilla, sweet ginger, and coconut. It leaves a lingering finish with a dash of spice and roasted coffee beans.

DGCA tells Supreme Court, left to Airlines how much Liquor to Serve

The horrific incident of an inebriated passenger urinating on a fellow passenger on an Air India flight from New York to Delhi in late 2022 has become a reference point on passenger behaviour on flights. The drunken passenger – Shankar Mishra – was arrested after enormous media pressure, and the airline was pulled up by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Later, the 72-year-old woman passenger filed a petition in the Supreme Court, demanding urgent formulation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) to deal with intoxicated passengers. The DGCA in an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court said it was left to the discretion of every airline, as per Clause 4.3 of Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR), to formulate a policy so as to not leave passengers inebriated which increase the risk of them committing nuisance.

The DGCA said that Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) are in place to deal with “handling of unruly passengers”. In her petition, the woman had requested SC to direct DGCA to frame a ‘zero tolerance’ SOP and rules to strictly deal with onboard unruly/disruptive behaviour and its implementation in letter and spirit by all airlines.

She pointed out that the Air India crew faltered in handling the sensitive issue in a very casual manner causing immense damage to her dignity. Stating that the airline first served excess liquor to the accused co-passenger and then forced her to enter into a settlement with him while failing in their duty to report the incident to the police, she called upon the DGCA to consider “drunkenness” as unruly or disruptive behaviour on an aircraft.

Air India had a policy on serving liquor on international flights as per which a passenger can’t be served more than two drinks on a flight that is less than four hours. However, the amount of alcohol served differs from business, first and economy classes with the last mentioned just getting one drink.  

Air India’s apology for not handling the incident properly and for being insensitive to the woman passenger, came a bit late and with the Air India Chief Executive Officer, Campbell Wilson adding that it would review the ‘policy on service of alcohol in flight’.

Not a one-off incident

This was not just one incident. On December 6, 2022 on a Paris-New Delhi flight, a drunk passenger was caught smoking in the lavatory, ignoring the crew’s admonition. And another passenger allegedly relieved himself on a vacant seat and blanket of a fellow female passenger when she had gone to the lavatory. Disgusting, to say the least.

IATA says offenses often go unpunished

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said that there is growing concern from airlines, governments and passengers at the increasing frequency and severity of these incidents that involve violence against crew and other passengers, harassment and failure to comply with safety and public health instructions.

27% alcohol use, 24% smoking violations

IATA said that incidents involving unruly behaviour in airlines are on the rise. Alcohol use is involved in 27% of these cases while 24% cases related to noncompliance with smoking regulations. IATA said the solution seems obvious. “If too many airline passengers are abusing alcohol and acting violently, airlines can limit alcohol sale to solve the problem. However, airlines are looking for a regulatory fix, showing their reluctance to lose the alcohol sales profit despite the harm alcohol is causing.

In the US, federal law prohibits flight crews from allowing “obviously intoxicated passengers” to board aircraft, and it doesn’t allow flight attendants to serve alcohol to anyone who appear intoxicated. 

IATA core principles on dealing with unruly passengers

In June 2014, at the 70th annual general meeting of IATA, the industry unanimously adopted a set of core principles for dealing with the issue of unruly passenger behaviour.  To support these principles, IATA has published a document “Even safer and more enjoyable air travel for all – A strategy for reducing the problem of unruly and disruptive passenger incidents”, that uses examples of good practice to illustrate the practical steps that must be taken to significantly reduce the problem of unruly and disruptive passengers including urging governments to:

  • Communicate the types of prohibited conduct onboard aircraft and the legal and other consequences of such conduct as per the Standards and Recommended Practices in Annex 9 – Facilitation of the Chicago Convention
  • To ratify MP14, thereby removing barriers to prosecution/enforcement action
  • To review the types of enforcement measures that are in place, consistent with the severity of the incident, including civil and administrative penalties such as fines that can be issued to ensure there are consequences to such behaviour as per ICAO Doc.10117
  • To support the work of airlines and other industry stakeholders to prevent unruly and disruptive passenger incidents
  • To assist member airlines in prevention and management of unruly passenger incidents, IATA has developed extensive guidance and training, for example in de-escalation techniques and the responsible service of alcohol during flights

No liquor on domestic Indian flights

On Indian domestic flights, no alcohol is served, but on international flights airlines do. This rule was implemented in 1994 after the Ministry of Civil Aviation received several complaints of flyers getting inebriated and misbehaving with the airline staff and other passengers.

Many airlines don’t serve alcohol

These are some of the airlines which do not serve liquor on flights – Air Arabia; Egyptair; Iran Air; Iraqi Airways, Kuwait Airways; Pakistan International Airlines; Royal Brunei Airlines; and Saudia. Not all Middle Eastern airlines prohibit sale and consumption and the best example of service is Emirates Airline which has a lounge on board with the most exotic cocktails to be had at 40,000 feet.

One black sheep such as Shankar Mishra can mess up the entire inflight experience. Stricter punishments may be deterrent. Nevertheless, it is for the cabin crew to be trained, first in serving alcohol to passengers and secondly on dealing with unruly passengers, irrespective of whether the passenger is inebriated or not. 

Pilot too drunk, suspended

While these incidents are passenger related, recently Air India took action against a female pilot by suspending her for three months after she failed the pre-flight breath analyser test. The pilot, serving as a first officer on a Boeing 787 aircraft, reportedly did not pass the test just before she was scheduled to operate a flight from Delhi to Hyderabad.

The DGCA has laid down norms for pilots and other crew members, all of them are mandated to undergo pre-flight breath analyser examinations prior to their first departure during a flight duty period. If any crew member tests positive, strict penalties are imposed. In the case of a first-time failure, suspension from flying duties for a duration of three months is the prescribed punishment.

Last year, DGCA revised the norms regarding the medical examination of aircraft personnel with regards to alcohol consumption. The regulations prohibit the consumption of any substance containing alcohol, including mouthwash or tooth gel, which could potentially result in a positive breath analyser test. “No crew member shall consume any drug/formulation or use any substance such as mouthwash/ tooth gel or any such product which has alcoholic content. This may result into positive breath analyser test. Any crew member who is undergoing such medication shall consult the company doctor before undertaking flying assignment.”  Additionally, crew members undergoing medication are advised to consult the company doctor before undertaking any flying duties.

– R. Chandrakanth

Diageo India and SCPwD Join Forces to Educate Disabled Students Through ‘Learning for Life’ Program

In a recent collaboration aimed at enhancing the employability of persons with disabilities (PwDs), the Skill Council for Persons with Disability (SCPwD) has partnered with Diageo India to provide vocational training to 300 students. This initiative falls under Diageo India’s “Learning for Life” program, aiming to address the skill gaps in the Business and Hospitality sectors.

The training, focusing on Food and Beverage Services, will be conducted in various SCPwD-affiliated centres across India. Certified trainers and assessors will oversee the residential programs, offering students a curriculum tailored to their needs. This partnership signifies a step towards inclusivity and diversity in the workforce, aligning with Diageo’s broader societal goals for 2030. The announcement was made in a ceremony attended by representatives from the National Association for the Blind (NAB) Karnataka, along with other industry stakeholders.

Hina Nagarajan, MD & CEO, Diageo India said, “Driven by the common objective of creating a vibrant and diverse workforce, we are delighted to expand our partnership with the Skill Council for Persons with Disability. Last year, we began this initiative by extending the scope of our ‘Learning for Life’ programme, to include the PwD community to help them overcome employment barriers. We strengthen our commitment this year to promote sustainable growth by scaling up this programme to provide equal access to the right resources, skills, and employment opportunities across India.”

Ravindra Singh, CEO, Skill Council for Persons with Disability (SCPwD) said, “We are delighted to partner with Diageo India whose commitment to inclusion and diversity is exemplary. Last year, we trained 100 Persons with Disabilities as part of Diageo India’s ‘Learning for Life’ programme. The success of this programme encourages us to expand this specially curated programme which focuses on providing hands-on training in hospitality skills and enhance employment opportunities.”

The initiative reflects a growing recognition of the need for accessible education and training programs that equip PwDs with the skills necessary to enter and succeed in the workforce, thereby promoting sustainable growth and diversity.

Radico Khaitan launches Spirit of Victory Pure Malt Whisky

Whisky is a tribute to the valour displayed by our Armed Forces during pivotal moments in history; company’s commits to contribute part of the revenue from every bottle to the welfare fund of the Indian Armed Forces.

Radico Khaitan Ltd. uncorked the Spirit of Victory, beginning with the Premium XXX Rum in 2017. In 2022 the Lemon Dash Rum was added to the flavoured white rum portfolio. Following these launches in the Rum category, the company has launched its latest Spirit of Victory 1999 Pure Malt Whisky.

Amar Sinha, COO, Radico Khaitan Ltd.

The Spirit of Victory whisky is a tribute to the valour displayed by our Armed Forces during pivotal moments in history. This special collection pays homage to the bravery and sacrifices made by our soldiers in the 1965, 1971, and the poignant Kargil War of 1999. What makes this launch special is the company’s commitment to contributing a part of the revenue from every bottle sold to the welfare fund of the Indian Armed Forces. At the helm of this spirited journey is Amar Sinha, the Chief Operating Officer of Radico Khaitan, steering the company beyond being a beverage provider.

The Spirit of Victory 1999 Pure Malt Whisky involves blending different single malts, sourced globally, and expertly mixed with Radico’s Indian single malt to create a drink that is not only outstanding, but carries deep meaning. The story of the such an endevour begins in 2017 with the launch of the 1965 Spirit of Victory Premium XXX Rum.

By 2022-23, it achieved a significant milestone by selling over 1 million cases, receiving Gold Quality Awards for six consecutive years (2018-2023) at the Global Monde Selection Awards. The Spirit of Victory Lemon Dash Rum, introduced in 2022, expanded the line, entering the flavoured white rum territory. Both variants have become favourites, marking the 7th brand of the company to achieve the million- case club in March 2023.

The company is looking at reaching into the hearts and minds of consumers. From the ‘1971 War Chronicles’ animated series to the ‘Battlefield Dossier’ series on the “Spirit of Victory” YouTube channel, these efforts aim to educate the younger generation about patriotism and preserve the inspiring stories of our armed forces.

With the alcohol industry leaning towards premiumisation, the success of the 1965 Spirit of Victory Rum positions Radico Khaitan at the forefront of the premium category, challenging stereotypes and reshaping the industry.