Black Dog Scotch Whisky
Black Dog Scotch Whisky brand logo
|Manufacturer||United Spirits Ltd (USL)|
|Country of origin||Scotland|
|Alcohol by volume||42.8%|
|Flavour||Matured wood, toasted malt, mild honey sweetness, delicate butterscotch|
Black Dog is a brand of Scotch Whisky that is distilled, aged and blended in Scotland, and bottled and marketed in India by United Spirits Limited (USL), a subsidiary of the United Breweries Group. In 2013, Black Dog was reported to be the world's fastest growing Scotch Whisky by volume, according to International Wine and Spirits Research (IWSR). The whiskies used in the blend come from Scotland. Black Dog Scotch Whisky sold in India is bottled in Parmori District Nasik in Maharashtra, by importing the undiluted spirits from Scotland, a strategy that avoids the import duties imposed on liquor imports to India that are bottled prior to import. (Import duties may be as high as 150% for liquor bottled prior to import, but only about 30% when bottled in India.) The brand's main competitors are Teacher's (by Suntory) and Something Special (a Pernod Ricard brand).
Black Dog was launched in 1883, with the name Millard Black Dog, by James McKinley of the Leith family of Scotland. The whisky was named by the man who brought the whisky to India, Walter Millard of the East India Company. He named it after his favourite salmon fishing fly, known as the Black Dog.
McDowell & Co (now known as USL) and United Distillers formed United Distillers India Limited in 1992, creating India's first joint venture in the alcoholic beverages industry. It began bottling operations in Nashik to produce Black Dog for the Indian market.
In April 2004, it was reported in the media that USL (then named McDowell & Co) was planning to sell Black Dog in Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Black Dog had been sold in Pakistan during the British Raj, prior to the Partition of India. In October the same year, it was reported that McDowell & Co was negotiating with a company in Pakistan to manufacture Black Dog. According to Vijay Rekhi, then managing director of McDowell & Co, and then President of the UB Group's spirits division, "It will only be a small set-up as just 3 per cent of the Pakistani population is permitted alcohol consumption.[a] But we are looking at the opportunity as we are trying to widen our footprints in the SAARC region." Rekhi also stated that bottling was already underway in Sri Lanka and the company was looking to expand to Bangladesh, Malaysia and Myanmar.
Black Dog was only available in 60 ml and 750 ml bottles in India until January 2008, when the company introduced 180 ml, 375 ml and 2 litre packs for the 8 and 12 year blends in select markets.
Black Dog Scotch Whisky is available in four variations:
- Black Dog Black Reserve Blended Scotch Whisky – Earlier known as Black Dog Centenary, it is an eight-year-old Scotch whisky. It was launched in New Delhi in September 2006.
- Black Dog Gold Reserve Aged 12 Years Blended Scotch Whisky – Earlier known as Black Dog Deluxe. It was the first variant of Black Dog.
- Black Dog Reserve Aged 18 Years Blended Scotch Whisky – This is a blend of aged malt and grain whiskies, aged for a minimum of 18 years in oak casks. It was launched in April 2011. It received the Gold Best in Class Award in the Scotch Whisky – Deluxe Blend – Aged 18 Years. Category at the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2011, and was rated Gold at the Internationaler Spirituosen Wettbewerb 2013.
- Black Dog Quintessence Aged 21 Years Blended Scotch Whisky – This version includes 25 single malts and grain whiskies, primarily from the Speyside Valley in Scotland. It is a limited edition of which only 3,540 bottles have been produced. The blend was rated Gold at The Internationaler Spirituosen Wettbewerb 2013.
|1883||Black Dog Scotch Whisky founded|
|1995||Black Dog Aged 12 years incorporates a new packaging design|
|2010||Black Dog Reserve Aged 18 Years Blended Scotch Whisky is launched|
|2011||Gold Best in Class Award in the Scotch Whisky Deluxe Blend – 18 YO category at the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2011|
|2012||Black Dog Quintessence Aged 21 Years Blended Scotch Whisky is launched|
The Black Dog range of Scotch Whiskies have won the Gold Medal at several International Awards including The Monde Selection in 2006 and the World Spirits Awards in 2011 for the Black Dog Aged 12 Years Blended Scotch Whisky and the Monde Selection, World Spirits Awards and the International Wine and Spirit Competition in 2011 for the Black Dog Aged 18 Years Blended Scotch Whisky. The Black Dog Reserve Aged 18 Years and the Black Dog Quintessence Aged 21 Years also won Gold at Internationaler Spirituosen Wettbewerb 2013.
USL has used jazz events as a platform to promote Black Dog in India. A Black Dog "Jazz Incident" was held in Mumbai on 22 February 2008. The concert featuring The Curtis King Band, was part of "The Black Dog Jazz Series", a series of jazz concerts in India. The band also performed at Black Dog "Jazz Incident" held in Gurgaon, Haryana on 28 February 2008.
In 2008, as part of the 125th anniversary celebrations of Black Dog, the company held a 10-city concert by Stephen Kabakos, beginning in Delhi on May 8. The concert also included shows in Kolkata, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Mysore, Bangalore, Goa and Pune. The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi threw a celebration dinner to celebrate Black Dog's 130th anniversary in 2013.
Black Dog has sponsored
- Russell Peters Live - 2007
- Kenny G Live in Concert - 2008
- Black Dog Timeless Classics presents a tribute to Elvis Presley by Stephen Kabakos - 2008
- Black Dog Comedy Evenings presents Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” - 2010
- Black Dog Guitar Evenings - 2010
- Black Dog Comedy Evenings presents Wayne Brady of Whose Line Is It Anyway? - 2011
- Black Dog Comedy Evenings presents Hollywood Superstar Rob Schneider - 2011
- Black Dog Easy Evenings presents Madonna Forever by Melissa Totten – 2012
- Black Dog Easy Evenings presents The Improv - 2012
- Black Dog Easy Evenings presents Master Blender Richard Paterson and Masterchef Italia(2011) Spyros Theodoridis - 2013.
In popular culture
- In the 1988 Bollywood film Shahenshah, Amrish Puri, playing a don named JK, orders Black Dog whisky while watching a female dancer perform an "item number". A sidekick asks him why he favours the brand, to which he replies "Jab bhi mein gori titliyon ko dekhta hoon, mere dil me kale kutte bhaukne lagte hain. Tab mein Black Dog whisky peeta hoon." (When I see fair-skinned beauties, black dogs bark in my heart. And then I drink Black Dog whisky.)
- The origin of the name Black Dog is referenced in the 2006 novel A Twisted Cue by Rohit Handa. The novel's main character Mulkally, likes perpetuating colonial myths and stories, one of which concerned the origin of the label Black Dog. Mulkally claims that the whisky was specially blended and bottled for the Bengal Club in Calcutta - hence "Kala Kutta" (Black Dog in Hindi) for Calcutta. However, Mulkally knows that Black Dog was actually named after a salmon fly
- Consumption of liquor by Muslims is banned in Pakistan
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- "Black Dog Easy Evenings". Facebook. (account login required for access)
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- A Twisted Cue - Rohit Handa