The old is new again with Ballantine’s Finest Whisky

Published November 10, 2020, 12:10 PM

by Jayvee Fernandez

I’ve got two questions: 

First, how can Europe’s number 1 blended whisky have only made it to Philippine shores only now, when it has been around for almost two centuries? 

Secondly, and more importantly, how can this same whisky cost only P599.00 per bottle, pegging it at the bottom shelf but with top shelf value?

Ballantine’s Finest Blended Scotch Whiskey is really a value at P599.

Ballantine’s Finest was a stranger to me as I’ve only heard it from related Google searches under the “you may also like” section. But, until now, I’ve never actually seen a bottle till two were delivered to my house. The bottle is peculiar — a thin, space-saving rectangular bottle which I later found out was the same bottle design used during Prohibition since that shape was easier to hide in briefcases. The name itself sparked some interest – Ballantine’s Finest. “Finest” — a bold declaration for a no age statement blended whiskey that’s almost half the price of the cheapest Johnnie Walker. And then it dawned on me that I was looking at this from the lens of an outsider — when in fact, South Korea, a few hours by plane from us, has Ballantine’s Finest all over the place (it has a market share of almost 30% as their most consumed whiskey). And yes they have it with soju.

It’s great neat with a little bit of water or as a simple whiskey and coke

This is a whisky that can be enjoyed across the evening as it has very appealing vanilla and oak aromas on the mouth, a bit of caramel on the mouth and unlike many of the bolder whiskeys twice or even thrice its price point, has a very smooth finish that tapers down, almost telling you to pour yourself another dram. I asked Hamish Houliston, the regional brand ambassador for Ballatine’s Finest and he said that the approachable price point and flavor profile were the winning combinations for a whiskey for the people, just as the Ballantine family — farmers turned grocers, wanted. It was the everyday man whiskey founded in 1827 and it still is today.

Ballantine’s Finest Blended Whisky is available at SnR for only P599. For online orders, check out, which retails Ballantine’s Finest at PHP 699. It is also available in leading supermarkets like Puregold, Robinsons, Rustans, Metro Gaisano, Landmark, and Landers.