The Scotch Malt Whisky Society goes to India

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) has gained over 26,000 members since it was set up in 1983.

The society can help you 'discover the very best single cask, single malt whisky available to mankind anywhere in the universe,' according to its website.

The SMWS already has branches in America, Australia, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg, Japan, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and The Netherlands to complement the two in Edinburgh and one in London.

Now they are opening one in New Delhi, India, with a lavish launch party at the Taj Mahal hotel.

India has had an interest in whisky since colonial times, when it was brought over in significant quantities by the British. But it's only in the past decade that the number of buyers there who can afford to invest in whisky has really begun to rise.

Indian whiskies often have labels reflecting Scottish themes, such a McDowell No. 1. But, despite the nod to Scotland, they are not drinks that British whisky drinkers would necessarily recognise as the same thing, containing a rum-like component.

Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that there is an enormous market for the more traditional Scotches and single malts.

"India is seen as a huge opportunity for the Scotch industry and this is an exciting development for the Society in a country where consumers are interested in Scotch and single malts.", enthused Paul Miles, managing director of the society.

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