Ballantine is one of the most popular blended Scotch whiskies in India, known for its smooth and easy-drinking taste profile. As a leading market, Assam sees strong demand for imported liquors like Ballantine. While prices can vary between shops, this article will provide a detailed look at Ballantine whisky rates across Assam today.
An Overview of Ballantine Whisky
Part of the extensive portfolio of global spirits giant Pernod Ricard, Ballantine’s is a blended Scotch whisky created using malt and grain whiskies from over 50 distilleries. It was originally founded in 1827 by George Ballantine in Edinburgh, making it one of the oldest whisky brands in the world.
Ballantine’s unique flavor comes from its high proportion of quality single malts, bringing rich depth, while the grain whiskies deliver consistency. This careful blending results in a smooth, balanced flavor with notes of honey, citrus, nutty oak, and vanilla.
Today, Ballantine’s is the second highest-selling Scotch globally after Johnnie Walker. It’s especially popular across Europe, Latin America, and Asia. In India, it leads the premium blended Scotch segment with its approachable taste and attractive pricing compared to single malts.
Ballantine Whisky Range Available in Assam
Ballantine’s offers a range of blends at various price points. Here are the expressions you can expect to find in Assam:
- Ballantine’s Finest – The core expression. Aged for at least 3 years. Light gold color. Tastes of oak, honey, and vanilla.
- Ballantine’s 12-Year-Old – Aged for a minimum of 12 years. Richer and more complex than the Finest. Flavors of toffee, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Ballantine’s 17-Year-Old – A limited release aged for at least 17 years. Deep amber color. Luxurious taste with fruitcake, nutty oak, and chocolate notes.
- Ballantine’s 21-Year-Old – A prestigious blended malt aged for a minimum of 21 years. Mahogany color. Intense fig, wood, and spice flavors.
- Ballantine’s 30-Year-Old – Extremely rare and expensive. Deep golden hue. Vanilla, leather, and smoked oak on the palate.
The Finest is by far the most popular Ballantine expression you’ll find in Assam due to its affordable pricing. The 12-year-old also has a reasonable presence across better liquor stores. The 17, 21, and 30-Year-Old bottlings are rare and generally only found in luxury hotels and high-end alcohol shops in major cities like Guwahati.
Ballantine Whisky Prices in Assam in 2023
Here are the latest Ballantine whisky prices observed at both offline retail shops and online stores delivering to Assam:
Ballantine’s Finest Price
- 750ml – ₹1,050 to ₹1,400
- 375ml – ₹550 to ₹700
- 180ml – ₹270 to ₹350
As the entry-level Ballantine’s blend, the Finest is very competitively priced in Assam. A 750ml bottle can be found for as low as ₹1,050 at local liquor stores, while some shops charge up to ₹1,400. There is similarly a ₹100 to ₹200 price difference between outlets for the 375ml and 180ml sizes.
Ballantine’s 12-Year-Old Price
- 750ml – ₹1,800 to ₹2,500
- 375ml – ₹950 to ₹1,300
The 12-year-old costs notably more than the Finest but is still quite affordable for a 12-year-old blend. Expect to pay ₹1,800 to ₹2,500 for a 750ml bottle depending on the shop. The 375ml size ranges from ₹950 to ₹1,300 in Assam.
Ballantine’s 17 Year Old Price
- 750ml – ₹6,500 to ₹8,000
With its hand-crafted oak casks and minimum 17-year aging, the Ballantine’s 17-Year-Old commands a significant premium but is more reasonable than many single malts of similar age. In Assam, 750ml bottles are priced between ₹6,500 to ₹8,000 at top retail alcohol outlets and bars.
Ballantine’s 21 Year Old Price
- 750ml – ₹9,500 to ₹12,000
As a highly coveted 21-year-old blended malt, the Ballantine’s 21-Year-Old has an understandably high price point. Expect to pay ₹9,500 to ₹12,000 for a 750ml bottle in leading liquor stores of major cities like Guwahati where it’s occasionally available.
Ballantine’s 30 Year Old Price
- 750ml – ₹25,000 to ₹32,000
The pinnacle of Ballantine’s range, the 30-Year-Old is an extremely rare and expensive blend. Top luxury hotels and exclusive alcohol specialty stores in Assam that carry it generally price it between ₹25,000 to ₹32,000 for a 750ml bottle.
Factors Affecting Ballantine’s Whisky Prices in Assam
Ballantine’s pricing in Assam depends on several factors:
Taxes – Indian import duties, excise taxes, VAT, and GST make foreign liquors like Scotch whisky expensive. Tax rates also vary between states.
Shop Type – Premium hotels and high-end liquor stores charge higher than regular shops. Duty-free shops have lower rates.
Location – Prices are a bit higher in remote Northeast areas compared to main Assam cities.
Age Statement – Older Ballantine’s expressions like the 21 Year cost multiples more than younger blends.
Importer Margins – Varying margins and overheads for importers also impact end-consumer pricing.
Dollar Exchange Rates – Since Ballantine’s comes from Scotland, changes in the INR to GBP conversion impact landed costs.
Seasons and Festivals – Prices rise during peak seasons like Christmas and New Year’s when demand spikes.
Buying Ballantine’s Whisky from Online Stores in Assam
Due to Assam’s high taxes on imported liquor plus the lack of major e-commerce alcohol delivery, buying Ballantine’s whisky online can be difficult and expensive:
- Very few India-based alcohol e-tailers deliver to Assam.
- They charge 30-40% over MRP, making it unviable for price-conscious buyers.
- Rare expressions like the 21-year-old are mostly unavailable online.
- Additional delivery charges add to costs due to Assam’s remote location.
Until Assam allows more e-commerce alcohol sales, consumers are better off purchasing Ballantine’s from regular offline retail stores in terms of both availability and pricing. However, online purchasing may become more viable in the coming years as more platforms expand.
Is Ballantine’s Whisky Worth the Price in Assam?
Despite taxation taking a toll on affordability, Ballantine’s still offers attractive value for money in Assam’s whisky market:
- Smooth Taste – Ballantine’s gentle flavors make it very approachable and mixable for Indian palates at all pricing tiers.
- Trusted Brand – Over 190 years of blending expertise makes Ballantine’s a safe choice.
- Premium Image – Ballantine’s is associated with high quality and prestige compared to Indian whisky brands.
- Reasonable Pricing – Within their segments, Finest and 12-Year-Old are competitively priced versus similar imported Scotch blends.
- Gifting – Higher-end Ballantine’s expressions like the 21 Year Old make impressive gifts and status symbols.
For both everyday drinking and special occasions, Ballantine’s range of blends offers a versatile Scotch option at various price points for Assam’s whisky lovers. Given its brand equity and accessibility, it remains a worthwhile buy despite steeper prices compared to other Indian states.
As one of the world’s leading blended Scotch whisky brands, Ballantine’s has carved a reputation for quality and smoothness spanning nearly 200 years. In Assam, value-conscious drinkers can enjoy the affordable Finest and 12 Year Old expressions, while connoisseurs covet the rare 17 to 30 Year Old bottlings.
Despite taxes impacting prices in Assam, Ballantine’s pricing remains reasonable in the context of other imported whiskies. Its enduring taste profile and gift-worthy prestige continues to make it a top choice for whisky aficionados and novices alike. For both everyday drinking and special celebrations, Ballantine’s wide range offers Scotch whisky options to suit diverse preferences and budgets.