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How many of the top 20 biggest selling spirits in the world have you tried?

How many of the top 20 biggest selling spirits in the world have you tried?

The spirits business is growing every day, especially in markets like Asia, but just like in the wine world there seems to be a gradual push towards the luxurious. Cocktails are getting more and more fashionable, too. So it’s a sure-fire fact that spirits are here to stay. But how many of the top 20 biggest selling spirits in the world have you tried?

Of all the big brands, whisky remains the dominant spirit. Drunk all over the world, the output is mindblowing in India – nevermind Scotch whisky or American Bourbon. Just a look at the 20 biggest selling spirits brands will show you that India are by far the big guns.

While outselling the competition rarely equals top quality spirit, we’re keen to know how many of these big names you’ve tried…

I had a good browse down the list and I’m going to admit I’ve tried only a few. Smirnoff, which is the only vodka brand in the top 20 bar Absolut, is most famous for its lead products such as Red Label – but my personal experience of it isn’t all that great. Having said that, Smirnoff’s cinammon gold label vodka is a smooth, warming spirit that goes down excellently in the Christmas season. If I were picking a good mixer, I’d be tempted more in the direction of Absolut…

Amongst the others I’ve tried are the Bacardi and Captain Morgan rums, of which I prefer the latter; Johnnie Walker, whose black label whisky is always impressive at its retail value; Cachaca 51, the Brazilian sugar spirit that’s hugely popular for cocktails; Jack Daniel’s and Jim Beam – who you may be surprised aren’t quite as high up on the list as you might expect, despite both having some of the biggest worldwide marketing campaigns.

Indian whisky, today, has some of the accolades of top Scotch and Japanese whiskys, which are some of the best in the world, so if you’ve not tried one of their whisky exports – like me – perhaps this list might give you somewhere to start.

Here’s the list – how many have you tried?

  1. Officer’s Choice (Indian Whisky) – 28.4m cases
  2. Smirnoff (Vodka) – 25.6m cases
  3. McDowell’s No.1 (Indian Whisky) – 25.1m cases
  4. McDowell’s No.1 Celebration (Rum) – 18.3m cases
  5. Bacardi (Rum) – 18.2m cases
  6. Johnnie Walker (Scotch Whisky) – 17.9m cases
  7. Cachaca 51 (Cachaca) – 17m cases
  8. Tanduay (Rum) – 16.6m cases
  9. Royal Stag (Indian Whisky) – 16.1m cases
  10. Imperial Blue (Indian Whisky) – 14.1m cases
  11. Jack Daniel’s (American Whisky/Bourbon) – 11.7m cases
  12. Old Tavern (Indian Whisky) – 11.2m cases
  13. Absolut (Vodka) – 11.1m cases
  14. Pitu (Cachaca) – 10.6m cases
  15. Original Choice (Indian Whisky) – 10.5m cases
  16. Hayward’s Fine (Indian Whisky) – 10.4m cases
  17. Captain Morgan (Rum) – 10.4m cases
  18. Bagpiper (Indian Whisky) – 9.5m cases
  19. McDowell’s No.1 Brandy (Brandy) – 7.6m cases
  20. Jim Beam (American Whisky/Bourbon) – 7.4m cases

Source: The Spirits Business, June 2015, Issue 64.