Remember your college days? Those good old days where we happily lived our lives with not a care in the world. Remember what got us through those days? When the fleeting prospects of our futures or the inherent love life issues began to bother us, we would resort to alcohol, our source of solace, our companion during good times and bad. Add to all this, the little matter of being broke all the frigging time and we had only a select few brands of alcohol to pick from. But they did the job nevertheless and got us to where we are.

Here are 21 brands of the good spirits that’ll remind you of simpler, happier times.

1. Kalyani Black Label

The mother of all strong beers. You know it, I know it and all of our economically challenged days know it. Kalyani was the lady you go to when you want to get sufficiently fucked up with a light wallet.

2. Knock Out 

Need we say more? The name spells it all out, doesn’t it? From my personal experience, Knock Out did the job just fine every freaking time. Coupled with some peanut masala and conversation, it was a Saturday evening well spent.

3. He-Man 9000

Holy hell! This is the first time I’ve heard about this stuff and it seems like it’s one of the strongest beers out there. You might have to head out to the North East for a taste of this though.

4. Godfather

This one still gets our gears greased to very this day. At a 100 bucks, I would still go with this choice than anything else. Have we grown up? Doesn’t matter.

5. Old Monk

The almighty king! The splendour of all budget parties. And the long standing romance we have with rum. All of these things wouldn’t be anything without the most epic brand of good times we’ve had with Old Monk. In fact, this love affair has endured long after we stopped being broke in college.

6. DSP Black

This rancid little thing took a little while to grow onto most of us but it was one of the few choices we had to make back in the day. I remember it starting at a modest ₹30 a quarter. Reasons why I’m an alcoholic.

7. Sikkim

Another contender that’s been standing by the ring. Sikkim was perhaps the classiest thing in the repertoire from the days past. Pure gold!

8. Signature 

My memories with Signature are some of the worst experiences I’ve had with whisky. Ever. But I can still recall it being the choice of the occasional party for most of my peers. Cheers then.


9. Contessa

Not as regal as it sounds but Contessa stuck with us during the hard times. A bit of an acquired taste with rum as it would seem, though it gets the job done.

10. AC Sec C

This elusive and mysterious whisky, apparently from Gujarat, is virtually invisible from the eyes of most. Those who’ve experienced it can attest to a few burnt throats and fucked up, glorious times.

11. Haywards 5000

It was those commercials, I’m sure, that created the vigorously hardcore fan following that Haywards has even today. Apart from the fact that they weren’t kidding when they said strong beer.

12. Royal Stag

Another one of those whiskys that wasn’t particularly easy on the newcomers. But if you remember, you had to catch onto the bandwagon quick enough for fear of being left behind. After all it was choice for us, poor folk.

13. Original Choice

Those who’ve experienced this little gem, stand by it. Perhaps also one of the many whiskys that throw around the word deluxe too easily.

14. Jolly Roger

Still a kicker. Still strong. And still a favourite. It has always been either Old Monk or Jolly Roger. The choice is yours to make. Mine is Old Monk, obviously.

15. Khajuraho

Apparently, it counts itself as one of the strongest beers in the world. You might not have heard of it ever but Khajuraho was one of the few things that could get young stomachs rumbling.

16. Sand Piper beer

Another one of the lesser-known beers out there. Sand Piper, as cool as that name is, is one seriously heavy drink. Not for the faint of heart. Which is why it has such good times attached to it.

17. Fuel

I’ve seen my friends chug this thing down like it was nothing. And I always felt it was cringeworthy mainly ’cause vodka is like that. But curse me if this wasn’t one of the most popular drinks from back then.

18. Blenders Pride

Back in the day, Blenders wasn’t particularly the cheap bottle. But any chance of celebration of birthdays and/or break ups were meant to be cherished with a bottle of BP. You know it.

19. 8 PM

In my opinion, it seemed speculatively the most rancid whisky that a light wallet could afford but that I believe makes it the student’s choice. To think of how we had such bottoming standards, all you need to do is try it out today. Let us know what you think now.

20. McDowell’s No 1

People were split when it came to rum. You’re either of the Old Monk front or the McDowell’s. And the two seldom got along. I remember this because I changed camps first few months into my experience with rum. Hence, it’s Old Monk forever.

21. The almighty Kingfisher

There’s not much you can say about the most popular beer in the country. Kingfisher is and always has been the totem of good times. Kingfisher’s been synonymous with any beer party since the days of yore, and it’s not going anywhere soon.

So which one of these old timers do you intend to revisit soon?