Subscribe Login

Irish Whiskey Awarded Legal Protection In India

By Donna Ahern
Irish Whiskey Awarded Legal Protection In India

Irish Whiskey has been awarded legal protection in India, which is the world’s largest whiskey market.

India has granted geographic indication (GI) status to Irish Whiskey, a legal protection that will help prevent the sale of fake products in the Indian market.

According to the Irish Whiskey Association (IWA), this protection now means that only spirits produced in Ireland can use 'Irish whiskey' on their label.

Reinforcing Authenticity

Irish Whiskey can now fully compete against other whiskies by reinforcing the authenticity of the product for the Indian consumer, the group explained.


“Securing the geographical indication for Irish whiskey in India is another landmark for the Irish whiskey category,"
Carleen Madigan, Legal Advisor to Drinks Ireland & IWA.

“We will now be able to take much tougher enforcement action against fake Irish whiskey products on sale in India".

World’s Largest Whiskey Market

This recognition is a 'vital tool' in supporting the future growth of Irish whiskey in the world’s largest whiskey market.

"This protection will also enable us to maximise opportunities to increase sales in this crucial whiskey market as it is an important selling point for the Indian consumer knowing they can enjoy Irish whiskey confident in the quality and authenticity of the product.” She added.


India is the largest whiskey market in the world with 2.3 billion bottles sold last year, the vast bulk of which is domestically produced. Irish whiskey is competing at premium level with other international whiskey categories.

In 2018, sales of Irish whiskey doubled to 34,000 cases with further growth now being targeted, particularly in high-growth city regions such as Delhi.

Other Markets 

Last month, IWA successfully registered Irish whiskey as a certification mark in South Africa, which now ensures the authenticity of the product.

This registration provides legal protection for Irish whiskey in South Africa for the first time and follows a successful trademark registration for Irish whiskey in Australia in February this year.


South Africa is the seventh major export market for Irish whiskey and the largest export market in Africa.

Madigan added: "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.”

© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.

Stay Connected With Our Weekly Newsletter

Processing your request...

Thanks! please check your email to confirm your subscription.