No jacket required Credit: Ajay Devgn
No jacket required
Credit: Ajay Devgn

Scotch and soda: Ajay Devgn battles for a bottle

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Equally at ease in dramatic, action and comic leads, Indian movie star Ajay Devgn once bumped Tom Cruise from the nation’s theaters. The Hindi cinema icon has also shilled for everything from washing machines to whiskey, Dolly Mahayan of Exchange4Media reports in this nod to his 50th birthday.

On the whiskey front, Devgn’s poison is Diageo mainstay Bagpiper, which has enlisted his fellow Bollywood legends Sunny Deol, Shahrukh Khan and Ashok Kumar, too. The catch: advertising booze and tobacco is illegal in India, so brands must resort to surrogate campaigns. Hence this Bagpiper spot featuring Devgn as a badass biker in a tug-of-war with his parched rivals for a bottle of…soda water. Good to the last drop.

must resort to surrogate campaigns. Hence this Bagpiper spot featuring Devgn as a badass biker in a tug-of-war with his parched rivals for a bottle of…soda water. Good to the last drop.

Time to pay the piper Credit: Diageo
Time to pay the piper
Credit: Diageo

Just the three of us

We’ve never sipped a Bagpiper, the No. 10 best-selling Indian whiskey last year, according to The Spirits Business. But to translate its tagline, we turned to a local source: “The party will flow when we three friends sit together—you, me and Bagpiper.”

Now over to this British chap, who threw a party for two during his bid to raise money for charity by trying 366 whiskies in as many days. As our friend points out, Indian distillers typically make their product from malt whiskey and a molasses spirits base, a combo that would never reach store shelves in most countries.

A colorful palate Credit: Diageo
A colorful palate
Credit: Diageo

Both ends of the spectrum

He isn’t sold on Bagpiper, basically calling it a sweet nothing, but India turns out some quality stuff. Just ask Whisky Advocate, which named Amrut Spectrum, another Diageo offering, its World Whisky of the Year in 2016.

“The beguiling chocolate and coffee aromas mingle with new oak, wood spices, fresh walnuts, treacle and mango peel,” Jonny McCormick wrote of the single malt. A velvety palate of lush red fruits, Gianduja chocolate, coffee, nut oils and oak tannins develops, leaving dry spices and ground coffee on the finish.” Now that’s a bottle worth fighting over.

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