A bottling plant worker checks bottles of Black Power whisky for impurities at a Tilaknagar Industries distillery and bottling unit in Srirampur, about 186 miles northwest of Mumbai, January 28, 2013
Vivek Prakash — REUTERS
August 7, 2015 5:33 AM EDT

India’s love affair with whisky has spurred domestic brands into becoming some of the biggest players in the global liquor market, with four of the world’s top five fastest growing spirits now hailing from the South Asian nation.

Indian whiskies also occupy seven of the top 25 fastest growing spirit brands, according to a recent study carried out by International Wine and Spirit Research, a London-based industry firm, with another five brands in that group focusing on India as their key market.

Imperial Blue is leading the way with 27.7% growth between 2013-14, with Officer’s Choice following closely behind at 18.4%, the study says, largely due to its popularity among lower-income consumers. Officer’s Choice has already overtaken Smirnoff as the world’s largest spirits brand, according to a recent article in India’s Economic Times.

Royal Stag and McDowell’s, owned by Diageo, follow closely behind.

The spirit’s popularity amongst Indians shows no signs of stopping — domestic consumption of whisky grew by 4% between 2013 and 2014, even while other spirits like vodka and brandy saw a fall in demand.

“The opportunities within the Indian spirits market are plentiful, especially among this lower socio-economic group,” the report said.

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