United Spirits, India’s biggest spirits company, starting the craft spirits segment by launching a new whiskey, its first local brand launch in nearly two decades.
The new brand — United’s Epitome Reserve — is part of USL’s wider strategy to build a premium craft spirits portfolio in India, the company said.
“It is about testing Indian craftsmanship and our innovation muscle and developing products which are different from other mass innovations,” said Deepika Warrier, chief marketing officer at Diageo-owned USL. “With the new brand, we are entering a new category, which will cater to the premium needs of consumers.
Affluent consumers are becoming increasingly discerning and they are looking at experimentation and new taste.” Craft spirits are essentially handcrafted and produced by a small distillery, which often makes use of locally sourced ingredients and materials.
USL’s new product will be India’s first small batch and artisanal 100% rice whisky, which has been distilled in Punjab and matured in Goa.
Despite being an Indian-made foreign liquor, the brand has been priced similar to the high-end scotch segment and sold at a few outlets in top cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Goa and Bengaluru.