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The Best-Selling Whisky in the World Is…

Officer's Choice WhiskyWhat’s the best-selling whisky in the world? It all depends on where you’re shopping.

In the United States, Jack Daniel’s Black Label was the number-one best-selling whiskey in 2014, moving 11.7 million cases. Those ubiquitous square bottles with the black labels can be found on virtually every store shelf and bar back in the nation – and there’s a place for Jack on many home bars, too (perhaps even yours?).

To the north, the top Canadian producer is Diageo’s Crown Royal, made in Gimli, Manitoba, which sold 5.3 million cases across all its expressions in 2014.

Across the Atlantic, Diageo’s Johnnie Walker leads the pack of U.K. producers, selling 17.9 million cases around the world in 2014. And on the other side of the Irish Sea, Jameson remains dominant in the Irish whiskey category, selling almost 5 million cases worldwide in 2015 (Jameson also holds the honor for the fastest growth rate of any on this list, adding 1.7 million cases in the last five years).

But the number one best-selling whisky in the whole world might surprise you. It’s Officer’s Choice, an Indian brand of blended whiskies. Forbes reports the brand sold 28.4 million nine-liter cases in 2014, outselling Johnnie Walker by more than 10 million cases. That makes it not only the best-selling whiskey, but the best-selling spirit of any kind.

The majority of Officer’s Choice whisky is sold in India, but you can find the brand in export markets too, including at Binny’s in the U.S., in case you’re curious.

While India isn’t traditionally thought of as a major whisky-producing nation (many budget Indian “whiskies” are actually made out of molasses), Indian consumers enjoy a dram as much as anybody else, and domestic brands like Officer’s Choice offer affordable luxury to a booming middle class.

One step up, Amrut has been racking up awards for its single malts, hinting at an exciting Indian whisky future to come.

 

 

 

 

Margarett Waterbury

Margarett Waterbury is the author of Scotch: A Complete Introduction to Scotland's Whiskies and a full-time freelance writer and editor. Her work has appeared in Whisky Advocate, Food and Wine, Spirited Magazine, Artisan Spirit, Edible Seattle, Sip Northwest, Civil Eats, Travel Oregon, Artisan Spirit, and many other publications. She is the former managing editor of Edible Portland, as well as a cofounder and former managing editor of The Whiskey Wash. In 2017, Margarett won the Alan Lodge Young Drinks Writer of the Year award. She received a fellowship for the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers in 2017 and 2019.

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