India has officially become the largest international whisky market, topping the United States by volume.
Indian whiskies (mostly non-matured alcohols made from molasses and therefore not considered whisky by the Scotch Whisky Association) have reported staggering growth over the past decade, going up from 35-38 million cases in 1998 to 60 million in 2005/06.
Besides India, Indian whiskies sell in the Middle East and Asia, but have no market access to the West.
Conversely, the Indian market is fiercely protective of its 98 per cent share of domestic sales, to the extent that importers are faced with duty levels of up to 550 per cent.
A recent court case in Delhi ruled that a whisky company was banned from calling one of its products “Red Scot” or using the word Scot or Scotch on any of its products.
The SWA had brought the case against the bottler to ensure customers were not being misled.