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MauiSon
03-03-2013, 03:52
I saw an interesting article in Bloomberg Business Week (Nov 26-Dec 2) concerning worldwide consumption of various liquors. In the whiskey category, India is #1 with 47% of worldwide whiskey consumption, U.S. is #2 with 14%, then France, Japan and U.K., all with under 5%. India was also #1 in brandy (27%) and rum (32%), U.S. was #1 only in tequila (50%), Russia was #1 in vodka (45%) and the Philippines was #1 in gin (36%). The U.S. was the only country to make the top 5 in every category, though.

darylld911
03-03-2013, 05:30
Wow . . . with such a high population I guess that shouldn't be a surprise India came in first - but 47% was a shock!

squire
03-03-2013, 06:45
Gin in the Philippines? I would've lost that bet.

ErikH
03-03-2013, 07:45
From what I've read, most of the whiskey in India is made from molasses, and would be considered rum elsewhere.

squire
03-03-2013, 08:11
India seems to have a loose interpretation of what can be called whisky.

Meruck
03-03-2013, 16:23
The civilized world spells it with an "e". But including India isn't fair. The population is so huge. They have the highest number of Indians per capita than any other country.

MauiSon
03-03-2013, 18:03
India seems to have a loose interpretation of what can be called whisky.
Chuck Cowdery's latest blog post indicates that the U.S. has a 'loose interpretation' as well. ;)

Meruck
03-03-2013, 18:10
Maybe so, but the interpretation of what can be called Bourbon is not. Other than it can be made out side KY that is. Plain wrong

HighInTheMtns
03-03-2013, 18:19
Maybe so, but the interpretation of what can be called Bourbon is not. Other than it can be made out side KY that is. Plain wrong
Why? Bourbon was historically made in Illinois and Pennsylvania as well as Kentucky (probably among other places.)

squire
03-03-2013, 18:40
The legal definition of Straight Bourbon allows it to be make anywhere in the United States.

Meruck
03-03-2013, 19:31
Define it as you will. I am somewhat of a purest. I made the comment in jest. I should have know better here. Today,there are no Bourbond made or bottled in Bourbon county. Regardless of your position, that's not right. If it wasn't a matter of money I would hope to see one of the bigs start one up there

squire
03-03-2013, 19:34
I am somewhat of a purists myself as I refuse to drink from the bottle with a straw.

MyOldKyDram
03-03-2013, 19:38
I was born in Bourbon county.

Even with a distillery I'm not sure there would be a reason to visit.

Meruck
03-03-2013, 19:56
That makes you the real deal. Where if I may ask? I'm from Jefferson county, Middletown

Meruck
03-03-2013, 19:57
Hot Urdells through a straw is the only way to go, bourbon, not so much.

MyOldKyDram
03-03-2013, 20:02
That makes you the real deal. Where if I may ask? I'm from Jefferson county, Middletown

Sure thing. Paris KY, but live in Lexington now.

Back on track man, India likes their drank, huh?

Meruck
03-03-2013, 20:06
You didn't roam far. Paris is the county seat, is it not?

CoMobourbon
03-03-2013, 20:14
Back on track man, India likes their drank, huh?

I'd be interested to find out how that India whiskey consumption breaks down. Surely most of that massive, massive amount (3x more than US total consumption) can't be imported, right? Is it all mass produced by major domestic corporate producers, or is a lot of it home-made or locally made?

Meruck
03-03-2013, 20:15
Well I would say yes they do, I am guessing g he only reason China isn't over Inda is the whole freedom thing, and China has no roads. Not that India has many, but when 70 percent of the population lives in 2 cities you don't need many.

Meruck
03-03-2013, 20:17
I think that's the Discovery Channels new show, Moonshiners; India.

HighInTheMtns
03-03-2013, 20:22
Well I would say yes they do, I am guessing g he only reason China isn't over Inda is the whole freedom thing, and China has no roads. Not that India has many, but when 70 percent of the population lives in 2 cities you don't need many.
Yeah, this is what it comes down to. There are a billion people in India and Chinese don't have the same access.

CoMobourbon
03-03-2013, 20:27
I should have looked at the beginning of the thread more closely. If most of the whisky is a molasses based rum-like blend with only a small fraction of malt whiskey, than it pretty much has to be domestically produced.

But that comparison to China raises an interesting question; why are the Chinese not hogging of the whiskey supply with their crazy huge number of potential consumers, and when will they do so?

Obviously that question addresses a much more general one: when will China transition to a consumer economy, and what will that look like? But I wonder how much the compatibilty of Chinse culture with whisky specifically matters. You know, how much the whole good ol' freedom-loving American culture accounts for high American whiskey consumption and how that lack of that culture in China accounts for lower whiskey consumption despite the higher population.

Meruck
03-03-2013, 20:36
China has 10 city's with more than 20 million people in each. And no road system to connect them. Bourbon is expensive to fly. Once the get the infrastructure you won't be able to compare with anyone. India has 2 cities with more than 70 percent of the population. Both have sea ports,

CoMobourbon
03-03-2013, 20:43
Right. But that lack of infrastructure has general implications to which bourbon is relatively incidental. It is hard to move most consumer products with lack of infrastructure, bourbon only somewhat more so than other products.

But what about the attributes of whisky in particular and its corresponding political, social, and political associations contribute to the low consumption rate? Is it because of government policy and/or the general political climate? etc.

Meruck
03-03-2013, 20:52
Good points. You also must consider the control of information. They ( China) may well out consume the remainder of the planet. But if the Central Committee doesn't want you to know it, you won't. That's why investing in pure Chinese companies is dangerous. You just don't know.

Meruck
03-03-2013, 20:55
A lot of people confuse Hong Hong with China. You wouldn't believe the dustys you can find there, but you better be prepared to pay for them. It's a completely different place,

ErikH
03-04-2013, 03:03
From what I've read, yes, most is domestically produced. The tariffs on imported whiskey are supposedly somewhere around 550%.

unclebunk
03-04-2013, 06:48
Back on track man, India likes their drank, huh? If I lived in India, I'd be drinking my ass of too.:lol:

squire
03-04-2013, 07:12
Actually they do produce some traditional whisky in India, fortunately I don't have to travel to drink it.

Wryguy
03-04-2013, 07:23
All of this talk about Indian whisky and not a mention of Amrut! I love my bottle of Portonova, kicks the shit out of Balvenie Portwood, which is now owned by Indians as well (United Breweries just bought Whyte and Mackay, along with Dalmore, Jura) Apparently 7 out of the 20 most popular spirits in the world are Indian whiskies: They are Officer's Choice, McDowell's No.1, Bagpiper, Royal Stag, McDowell's No.1, Old Tavern and Original Choice.

Some great names, but they highlight a fact. These whiskies are not named Arjuna's Lament or Krishna's Tears, they have Scottish names. Culturally India was much more influenced by the West than China, same goes for places like Taiwan and Japan, where per capita whiskey consumption is much higher than China. The distribution of wealth is also key, as China's gap between rich and poor is the most extreme in the world, with few middle class drinkers in the middle.

Should be noted that this survey also has an incredible bias towards bottled drink produced at a factory. How does this Bloomberg study account for all the sake rice farmers are making for themselves in the fields of China? And what about a nation like Iran, where alcohol is punishable by death but nearly 1/3 of the population are drinking triple distilled moonshine made from raisins in their homes every night, cause it's the only escape they have. A bottle of molasses whiskey from India smuggled into the country costs 140 US dollars. They put it in a Johnnie Walker bottle. But it aint Johnnie, I promise you. This article and conversation are an interesting start, but there is a lot more depth to this than Bloomberg Business Week is going to tell you.

squire
03-04-2013, 07:30
I was aware of the Scottish connections but it was too early in the morning to do any research. Even the word research reminds me of work which is something I studiously avoid.

smokinjoe
03-04-2013, 08:19
All of this talk about Indian whisky and not a mention of Amrut! I love my bottle of Portonova, kicks the shit out of Balvenie Portwood, which is now owned by Indians as well (United Breweries just bought Whyte and Mackay, along with Dalmore, Jura) Apparently 7 out of the 20 most popular spirits in the world are Indian whiskies: They are Officer's Choice, McDowell's No.1, Bagpiper, Royal Stag, McDowell's No.1, Old Tavern and Original Choice.

Some great names, but they highlight a fact. These whiskies are not named Arjuna's Lament or Krishna's Tears, they have Scottish names. Culturally India was much more influenced by the West than China, same goes for places like Taiwan and Japan, where per capita whiskey consumption is much higher than China. The distribution of wealth is also key, as China's gap between rich and poor is the most extreme in the world, with few middle class drinkers in the middle.

Should be noted that this survey also has an incredible bias towards bottled drink produced at a factory. How does this Bloomberg study account for all the sake rice farmers are making for themselves in the fields of China? And what about a nation like Iran, where alcohol is punishable by death but nearly 1/3 of the population are drinking triple distilled moonshine made from raisins in their homes every night, cause it's the only escape they have. A bottle of molasses whiskey from India smuggled into the country costs 140 US dollars. They put it in a Johnnie Walker bottle. But it aint Johnnie, I promise you. This article and conversation are an interesting start, but there is a lot more depth to this than Bloomberg Business Week is going to tell you.

Nice info, WG.
:toast:

portwood
03-04-2013, 09:37
They put it in a Johnnie Walker bottle. But it aint Johnnie, I promise you. This article and conversation are an interesting start, but there is a lot more depth to this than Bloomberg Business Week is going to tell you.
Moonshiners the world over are a creative bunch:
http://imgur.com/PoLlTcw

Wryguy
03-04-2013, 09:53
Moonshiners the world over are a creative bunch:
http://imgur.com/PoLlTcw

Bet the J. Worker's Red Labial Assault leaves you with quite the hangover. At least we know the color of the fur on the bitch that bit you with that stuff. LOL!

unclebunk
03-04-2013, 11:30
All of this talk about Indian whisky and not a mention of Amrut! I love my bottle of Portonova, kicks the shit out of Balvenie Portwood, which is now owned by Indians as well (United Breweries just bought Whyte and Mackay, along with Dalmore, Jura) Apparently 7 out of the 20 most popular spirits in the world are Indian whiskies: They are Officer's Choice, McDowell's No.1, Bagpiper, Royal Stag, McDowell's No.1, Old Tavern and Original Choice.

Some great names, but they highlight a fact. These whiskies are not named Arjuna's Lament or Krishna's Tears, they have Scottish names. Culturally India was much more influenced by the West than China, same goes for places like Taiwan and Japan, where per capita whiskey consumption is much higher than China. The distribution of wealth is also key, as China's gap between rich and poor is the most extreme in the world, with few middle class drinkers in the middle.

Should be noted that this survey also has an incredible bias towards bottled drink produced at a factory. How does this Bloomberg study account for all the sake rice farmers are making for themselves in the fields of China? And what about a nation like Iran, where alcohol is punishable by death but nearly 1/3 of the population are drinking triple distilled moonshine made from raisins in their homes every night, cause it's the only escape they have. A bottle of molasses whiskey from India smuggled into the country costs 140 US dollars. They put it in a Johnnie Walker bottle. But it aint Johnnie, I promise you. This article and conversation are an interesting start, but there is a lot more depth to this than Bloomberg Business Week is going to tell you.

It's worth noting (as I believe someone else already has) that most of those Indian "whiskies" that you listed are molasses-based spirits that bear little resemblance to the products we know and love from Scotland. However, the Amrut line is very good and Amrut Fusion, in particular, has gone over very well with all my friends, virtually all of whom were very surprised that such a fine whisky could come from India. (Most thought the same about Japanese whisky until they tried a few and were shocked at how good the Yamazaki products taste.) It's odd (and probably reflects my own ignorance) but I always had a question in the back of my mind about the quality of India's water sources when making their whisky, believing that it could never match the water that cascades through fields of heather and peat in Scotland. But the Indian whisky is damned good and now I need to investigate further just how it's made to satisfy my own curiosity.

Wryguy
03-04-2013, 14:39
It definitely true that all of the Indian "whiskies" listed are produced from molasses, and a lot of the "rum" consumed in Eastern Europe is made from sugar beets. All of which calls into question the accuracy of this Bloomberg article.

MauiSon
03-04-2013, 18:58
I don't get this fixation on molasses. Indian whiskies are blends, i.e., real whiskey blended with neutral spirits (which happen to made from molasses). That's essentially the same definition for blended whiskey in the U.S. The source of neutral spirits seems a rather moot point for discussion.

I guess I goofed in posting this in the General Bourbon Discussion sub-forum, but the point was... well, to open some eyes and engender some discussion. So, success, I suppose.

Wryguy
03-04-2013, 19:48
These blended Indian whiskies are about 10% malt distillate, which makes it hard for me to think of these as whiskies. It's like adding tobacco to a joint and calling it a cigarette. I've actually tasted Officer's Choice and knockoff Red Label and it tastes nothing like other whiskies I've tasted. Just my two cents, but I think this info matters.

unclebunk
03-05-2013, 10:45
I don't get this fixation on molasses. Indian whiskies are blends, i.e., real whiskey blended with neutral spirits (which happen to made from molasses). That's essentially the same definition for blended whiskey in the U.S. The source of neutral spirits seems a rather moot point for discussion.[/QUOTE

Nobody is "fixating" on molasses (not sure how you came to that conclusion). I only made an (accurate) observation about the quality of many Indian blended products, not the top shelf ones that have been mentioned.

[QUOTE=Wryguy;326642]These blended Indian whiskies are about 10% malt distillate, which makes it hard for me to think of these as whiskies. It's like adding tobacco to a joint and calling it a cigarette. I've actually tasted Officer's Choice and knockoff Red Label and it tastes nothing like other whiskies I've tasted. Just my two cents, but I think this info matters.

Exactly.

squire
03-05-2013, 10:48
Hey, they make rum from molasses, yo ho ho.