Irish whiskey has secured geographic indication status in India, meaning that only whiskey produced in Ireland can legally be called Irish whiskey on the Indian market.
India is the world’s biggest market for whiskey with 2.3bn bottles sold there in 2018 alone. Much of that whiskey is domestically produced however there is a growing interest in premium international brands, and securing legal protection will help Irish whiskey capitalise on this burgeoning sector. In 2018, sales of Irish whiskey in India doubled to 34,000 cases.
Carleen Madigan, the Irish Whiskey Association’s (IWA) legal advisor, said: “Securing the geographical indication for Irish whiskey in India is another landmark for the Irish whiskey category. Like similar registrations achieved earlier in the year in Australia and South Africa, this is another major success in our efforts to protect the integrity of Irish whiskey on a worldwide basis.”
The IWA has recently been targeting the sale of counterfeit Irish whiskey across the globe, and tripled its budget in 2019 for associated legal cases.