Not many whisky drinkers go through life without at least once being subject to an extensive monologue about the many facets of whisky, and the endless list of do’s and don’ts that follow.
“How to drink whisky?”, “What glass to drink your whisky from?” and “Whisky or Whiskey?” are only a few of the questions that cover a subject that is extensive enough to deserve its own Bible; we say this knowing full and well about the existence of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.
Among all the different kinds of whisky produced all over the world, Scotch whisky is by far the most popular and talked about. Whether it’s blended or single malt, Scotch whisky has become synonymous with luxury and opulence.
Blends rake in nearly £3.04bn every year, which is significantly higher than the cumulative sales of single malts, cementing their status quo among whisky lovers worldwide. Of the many excellent blends available in the market such as Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s and Johnnie Walker, the Teacher’s brand is a phenomenal blended Scotch that is both economical and brilliant.
Teacher’s is an immensely popular blended Scotch in India and other Asian countries. In fact Teacher’s shares such history and affection with India, they released the Teacher’s 50, one of their highly rated expressions to commemorate and honour India’s 50th Independence Day in 1997.
A blend of malt and grain whiskies in a 50:50 proportion, the Teacher’s 50 was an interesting reveal by the brand that resonated well with Indian whisky drinkers who were already fond of the brand.
India is a crucial market for whisky, and the revered Scotch whisky, for many a ‘special occasion drink’, makes up a sizeable chunk of it. Alongside the Teacher’s 50 whisky, the Indian whisky market maintains a raging popularity for blended Scotch whiskies no matter the economic spectrum they belong to. Premium and luxury blended Scotch whisky brands such as Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal and Johnnie Walker continue to be in high demand among the Indian whisky drinkers.
The reason behind the popularity of blended Scotch whisky brands is due to their smooth texture, oodles of flavours and enticing aromas that make them ideal whiskies for special occasions, and as Indians we know we have a lot of them.
A lot of times, good blended Scotch whisky meets a tragic fate at the hands of an under-experienced whisky drinker dousing their drink in cola, and an avalanche of ice. To avoid doing this kind of injustice to a Scotch of this magnitude, let us guide you on how to taste a whisky for what it is, and not what you have mixed it in.
Opt for the right whisky glass, a Snifter or a Glencairn that lets you take in the aromas and fully appreciate all the effort that went into distilling, maturing and blending the spirit of the Gods.
Then, hold the bottom of the glass and give it a gentle swirl before taking a short sniff.
Take a small sip of the whisky, and let it roll over your tongue. Close your eyes and try to ascertain the flavours of the whisky before you swallow it. Pay attention to the aftertaste for what is known as the ‘Finish’ of the whisky.
You’re all prepared to begin your whisky tasting journey, sampling the best of the best and on your way to becoming the true whisky master. If you enjoy Teacher’s 50 blended Scotch whisky, you must try these blended and single malt Scotch whiskies that rule the hearts of India’s spirit savants.
Not just one of the world’s bestselling Scotch brands, Ballantine’s is a particular favourite among the Indian populace too. A smooth, flavourful and aromatic blended Scotch, Ballantine’s Finest is the standard blend of an even more exemplary list of Ballantine’s blends.
The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve
Aged in traditional Oak and first fill American Oak barrels, this incredible Scotch whisky was distilled and matured using the methods of founder George Smith, the illegal distiller who created The Glenlivet brand. A creamy, fruity Speyside single malt is one of the newest additions to the brand’s inventory.
Chivas Regal XV
A successful re-introduction from the great house of the Chivas Brothers into the 15-Year-Old category, the XV is an outstanding blended Scotch. Finished in Grande Champagne cognac barrels, it is unlike any other Scotch whisky in its category and should be very high on your list of must-try Scotch whiskies.
Johnnie Walker Double Black
Smoky delight with a generous addition of Islay whiskies to the signature Johnnie Walker Black Label blend, this blended Scotch is finished in heavily charred Oak barrels. Released in 2011, Johnnie Walker Double Black has surged to the top of many must-try lists within a decade of its existence.
Aberlour 12 Double Cask Matured
A masterclass single malt, this underrated Scotch whisky showcases the finesse of maturation that plays a huge role in making the Aberlour a sensational drink. This rare gem is a stunning Speyside single malt, and deserves to be on your bar shopping list immediately.
The Laphroaig Quarter Cask
This terrific Islay single malt is aged in quarter casks, a much smaller type of barrel that boosts contact between the whisky and the barrel, providing a much more amplified influence on the drink. The Laphraoig Quarter Cask takes the signature Laphraoig goodness to a whole new level.
These are the wonderful and unparalleled Scotch whiskies you must try at least once to get started on your new, and hopefully lifelong recreational activity of tasting fine Scotch whisky.