Passport scotch whisky is one of the most popular imported whisky brands in Kerala. With its smooth taste and affordable pricing, Passport has become the go-to whisky for Kerala drinkers over the years. In this article, we will take a look at the latest Passport whisky prices in Kerala in 2023 and other details about this iconic whisky brand.
Overview of Passport Whisky
Passport scotch whisky is produced by Allied Blenders and Distillers (ABD), one of the largest spirit manufacturers in India. The company was established in Mumbai in the 1960s and launched the Passport brand in 1990 as an affordable blended scotch targeted at Indian whisky drinkers.
Passport is a blend of grain whiskies and single malts sourced from various distilleries in Scotland. The specific distilleries used in the blend are not disclosed by ABD. According to the company, the blend contains up to 35% malt whiskies aged for over 8 years and grains aged for over 5 years.
The whisky is mildly smokey with a rounded, fruity taste profile. It is designed to have wide appeal among Indian palates at an affordable price point. Passport comes in two variants – Passport Blended Scotch Whisky and Passport Deluxe Whisky. It has an alcohol content of 42.8% ABV.
Over the years, Passport has become one of the most recognized whisky brands in India. In Kerala, it ranks among the top 3 best-selling whisky brands along with the likes of McDowell’s No.1 and Original Choice whiskies. Its popularity stems from its easy drinking taste, smart branding, and strategic pricing that hits the sweet spot for middle-class drinkers in the state.
Passport Whisky Prices in Kerala 2023
Here are the latest Passport whisky prices in Kerala as of 2023:
|Passport Blended Scotch Whisky
|Passport Blended Scotch Whisky
|Passport Deluxe Whisky
|Passport Deluxe Whisky
The above prices are recommended retail prices across authorized liquor outlets in Kerala. Actual selling prices may vary slightly across different stores.
As evident from the price list, Passport offers great value to Kerala whisky drinkers. A 750 ML Passport Blended Scotch bottle can be purchased for just over ₹1000, which is quite affordable for a classic scotch whisky. The Deluxe variant carries a small premium for its richer blend.
In terms of taxation, imported whiskies like Passport are subject to federal excise duty, state excise duty as well and local taxes in Kerala. As a result, the total taxation can range from 150% to over 200% of the base price. However, Passport’s smart base pricing ensures that it remains affordable and competitive despite the high taxes.
Compared to other imported whisky brands like Johnnie Walker, Chivas Regal or Glenfiddich, Passport is priced lower by 40-50%. This price advantage allows it to be positioned as a value-for-money blended scotch for regular consumption.
Factors Affecting Pricing of Passport Whisky in Kerala
There are several factors that impact the retail pricing of Passport whisky in Kerala:
- Taxes: High excise duties and other taxes imposed by central and state governments account for a major chunk of the retail price. Fluctuations in taxation rates directly impact the prices.
- Input Costs: Rising costs of raw materials like grain, packaging materials, fuel, transportation, etc. lead to higher base prices for whisky companies. These increased input costs have to be passed on to consumers.
- Foreign Exchange Rates: Since imported whiskies are priced in dollars, changes in the dollar-rupee conversion rate alter import costs for brands like Passport. A weaker rupee means higher costs.
- Demand and Supply: The basic economics of demand-supply also play a role. Higher demand, especially during festive seasons, may lead to price hikes. Limited supply due to production issues can also increase prices.
- Marketing: Liquor brands invest heavily in advertising, celebrity endorsements, and promotions. The costs of these marketing efforts may result in marginal price increases.
- Profit Margins: To protect profitability, liquor firms periodically increase prices over and above tax hikes and input cost inflation. This helps maintain healthy margins.
So while taxes form a major component, many micro and macro-economic factors influence the retail pricing of imported liquors like Passport whisky in the Kerala market.
Price Trends Over the Years
Over the last decade, Passport whisky prices in Kerala have trended upwards but the rate of increase has been gradual. Here’s a quick look at Passport price trends:
- In 2010, a 750 ML Passport Blended Scotch bottle cost around ₹600.
- By 2015, prices had increased to ₹850-900 per 750 ML bottle.
- In 2020, prices crossed the ₹1000 mark.
- Current prices in 2023 are between ₹1050 – ₹1320 for a 750 ML bottle depending on the variant.
The price hike from 2010 to 2023 translates to a compounded annual growth rate of approximately 8-9% per year. In line with broader inflationary trends, Passport’s price inflation was higher in the 2010-15 period at 7-8% yearly. Over the last 5 years, prices have increased at 4-6% annually.
However, Passport still remains extremely competitive compared to other imported whiskies or even Indian brands like Blender’s Pride or Amrut Fusion which cost over 50% more. Its pricing strategy focused on value helps retain affordability despite gradual price hikes.
Price Differences Across Cities
Passport whisky prices in Kerala are largely uniform across the state. However, there may be slight variations from city to city depending on factors like:
- Transportation costs: Prices may be higher in cities located farther from warehouses or production facilities due to added freight expenses. Cities like Thiruvananthapuram in south Kerala may see marginally higher rates.
- Tax rates: Local municipal taxes sometimes differ across cities leading to small price differences.
- Liquor policies: Government policies regulating pricing and discounts also impact city-level rates. For example, during COVID lockdowns, many states introduced dynamic pricing policies which altered rates frequently.
- Outlet discounts: Discounts offered by individual retail shops based on turnover, promotions, etc. also create price variations. Popular outlets may offer lower prices.
That said, the price variance is usually limited to ₹50-100 per 750 ML bottle. Overall, Passport whisky prices remain consistent statewide given its popularity and scale of operations in Kerala.
Price Forecast for 2023 and Beyond
Looking ahead to 2023 and future years, Passport whisky prices in Kerala are expected to follow an upward trajectory but the increases should be gradual.
- Inflation – Rising inflation will exert pressure to hike prices. However, being an affordable brand, Passport may have limited ability to pass on high inflation costs.
- Taxation – Further hikes in central or state excise duties could necessitate price increases. However, high taxes already limit room for major hikes.
- Input costs – Grain, fuel, and packaging costs will remain elevated internationally, impacting input costs. But Passport will absorb some costs to retain affordability.
- Competition – Strong competition from brands like McDowell’s Number 1 Constellation will restrict large price increases by Passport.
- Premiumization – The launch of more premium Passport variants could push up the average selling price but maintain accessibility through lower-priced core offerings.
Considering these factors, the annual price growth rate is forecast to be around 5-7% over the next 3-5 years. In absolute terms, prices of a 750 ML Passport Scotch bottle may rise from the current ₹1050 levels to around ₹1200-1300 by 2025. However, relative affordability should remain intact for Kerala’s value-conscious whisky drinkers.
How to Buy Passport at Best Prices?
Here are some tips to buy Passport whisky at the best prices in Kerala:
- Opt for lower ML sizes like 375 ML or 180 ML to get better value. Per ml, pricing is lower on smaller units.
- Buy during ongoing discounts, offers, and festive sales when retailers offer significant price drops.
- Register for loyalty programs by liquor retailers and wholesalers. This gives access to exclusive discounts and lower prices for members.
- Purchase from duty-free shops at airports when traveling outside Kerala. Airport prices are much lower due to tax exemptions.
- Explore prices from wine stores, restaurants, and hotels as they sometimes offer lower rates compared to regular liquor shops.
- Online sites like HipBar and Living Liquidz offer convenience but don’t necessarily have the lowest prices. Compare with regular shops.
- Buying by the case directly from wholesalers or distributors results in the lowest possible pricing due to bulk discounts.
With the right tactics, Kerala drinkers can continue to enjoy their favorite Passport Scotch whisky without burning a hole in their pockets even in 2023 and beyond. Proper planning and searching for the best deals based on the above tips can help maximize savings.
Popular Cocktails and Whisky Combinations with Passport
While many prefer to drink Passport neat or with water/ice, it also works quite well in cocktails and whisky combinations. Here are some popular Passport cocktails/combos in Kerala:
Passport Penicillin – Made with Passport, lemon juice, honey-ginger syrup, and peated Islay whisky. Has a spicy, smoky, and sour flavor profile.
Passport Sour – Prepared with Passport, lemon juice, sugar syrup, and Angostura bitters. A simple and refreshing sour whiskey cocktail.
Passport Mojito – Passport blended with mint, lime, sugar syrup, and soda water. The classic mojito with a whisky twist.
Passport Highball – Tall drink made by mixing Passport with soda, Angostura bitters, and lime wedge garnish. Fizzy and full-flavored.
Passport and Cola – Timeless combination of Passport and cola along with ice. Sweet, fizzy, and very drinkable.
Passport and Chicken – Unusual pairing of Passport and spicy chicken curry with rice. Contrasting flavors work well together.
Passport and Pickle – Passport sip chased with a bite of spicy mango or lime pickle. Sweet whisky offsets pungent pickles nicely.
Passport Paan – Passport consumed with paan (betel leaf) post-dinner. Paan accentuates the sweetness in the whisky.
Whisky novices can keep it simple with Passport highballs or Cola mixes whereas experts can experiment with cocktails like the Penicillin or Sour to enjoy Passport’s flavors in new ways.
Health Effects and Safe Consumption
Like any alcoholic beverage, excessive and irresponsible consumption of Passport whisky can have adverse health impacts. However, when drunk sensibly and in moderation, Passport can be enjoyed as part of an active, balanced lifestyle.
Here are some tips for safe consumption of Passport whisky:
- Do not drink every day. Restrict whisky consumption to no more than 2-3 times a week.
- Do not exceed 2 pegs (60 ml each) per day for men and 1 peg for women. Spread out drinks over multiple hours instead of binge drinking.
- Eat food before or during drinking to slow down alcohol absorption. Never drink on an empty stomach.
- Passport has a high alcohol content (42.8%). Dilute with water or ice to reduce alcoholic strength to desired levels.
- Avoid alternate shots with beer or wine. Stick to one type of drink instead of mixing to prevent adverse effects.
- Never drink and drive or operate machinery. Avoid drinking in unsafe public areas.
- Consult a doctor before drinking if you have liver conditions, or allergies or are on certain medications that interact adversely with alcohol.
Drinking responsibly enhances enjoyment and minimizes health risks. Moderation is key to safe consumption of whiskies like Passport.
The Ideal Occasions to Enjoy Passport Whisky
Passport’s smooth taste, versatility, and affordable pricing make it a whisky that can be enjoyed on diverse occasions and settings in Kerala.
At home – An evening drink after work, a relaxed weekend drink, or a post-dinner nightcap at home with family or friends.
Parties – At a party drink with mixers like cola, soda, or cocktails. Also pairs well with snacks like chicken, shrimp, or samosas.
Get-togethers – Small gatherings with buddies where Passport can be had along with good conversation.
Outdoors/Trips – Pack a quarter bottle for a weekend trek, trip, or picnic and enjoy scenic views.
Festivals – Be it Onam, Diwali, or others, Passport adds to the festive cheer.
Destressing – Wind down an exhausting day or week with 1-2 pegs of Passport.
Celebrations – A passport is perfect for celebrating milestones or achievements with near and dear ones.
From quotidian moments to special occasions, Passport can be the ideal companion for Kerala drinkers across settings thanks to its welcoming flavor and pocket-friendly price. Responsible drinking enhances the enjoyment manifold.
Five Interesting Facts About Passport Whisky
Here are some fascinating facts about Passport Scotch whisky that you may not have known:
1. Among the earliest imported whisky brands – Passport was among the first imported whisky brands launched in India in the 1960s post-liberalization of import policies.
2. Real passport in early labels – Old Passport labels featured a real canceled international passport stuck on to emphasize its global origins. This was later replaced with just an image.
3. Bollywood connection – Early Passport ads in the 90s and 2000s featured top Bollywood actors like Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra as brand ambassadors.
4. Originally Launched as a Rum – Passport was initially test-launched as a rum, not whisky, based on its blend. It was re-positioned and launched nationally as Passport Scotch based on consumer feedback.
5. Best-Selling Imported Whisky – At its peak in the 2000s, Passport was the largest-selling imported whisky brand in India exceeding established names like Johnnie Walker and Chivas Regal. It still retains the top 3 status.
Right from its unique origins to celebrity connections, Passport has a storied history and brand legacy that contributed to its popularity in the Kerala market over the decades.
Summing Up – Passport’s Enduring Value
In summary, Passport scotch whisky continues to deliver excellent value for money for discerning Kerala drinkers in 2023. Reasonable pricing coupled with aged, smooth liquoring makes it a smart buy. Going forward, moderate price hikes are expected but should not affect affordability drastically. Passport’s diverse blending and easy drinking taste profile also make it suitable for casual sipping or innovative cocktails alike.
Drinking in moderation with food accentuates the Passport experience. For regular tipplers and connoisseurs alike, Passport whiskey remains an accessible premium blended scotch that optimally balances quality and cost. Given its enduring popularity in Kerala, Passport looks well poised to retain its spot among the finest yet pocket-friendly whiskies for years to come.
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