Connor McGregor, Dennis Rodman, Justin Timberlake, P Diddy, Ludacris, George Clooney and Adam Levine aren’t names you’d usually come across put together, let alone on a whisky blog. And weird as it may sound , these folks do have quite a bit in common – they all own (read ‘in partnership’) their very own liquor brands. And I’m sure by now, you’ve come to fathom where I might be heading with this write up; David Beckham, Simon Fuller and their 2014 partnership with Diageo, aka the Haig Club Single Grain Whisky.
The Haig Club is not your usual blend, nor does it share space with the Single Malts and that’s because this whisky is made from a fusion of grain whiskies from a single distillery – the oldest grain distillery in Scotland! The name was penned as a tribute to the Haig family who started it all during the late 1700s and later established the Cameronbridge distillery in 1824.
The distillery uses about 10% malted barley and 90% wheat to make the wash, which is then distilled using both Stein and Coffey stills. The resulting distilled spirit is now matured in either of the three casks: First filled American Oak, Ex-Bourbon Barrels or rejuvenated oak casks- those with a layer scrapped off and then reactivated (‘charred’), and then each are blended together to achieve the desired flavor profile.
The blue decanter like bottle comes with the Haig brand name spread well across the wider face of the bottle. It isn’t your usual liquor flask, looking worlds apart thanks to its contemporary, vibrant and ‘pop culture rich’ persona. And though it makes for a great center piece, much of its feel good factor ends abruptly the moment you try pouring yourself a glass. Its very contours makes it practically uncomfortable and quite cumbersome to hold, giving you quite a scare every time you need to tilt that bottle.
ABV : 40%
Eye: Pale Gold
Nose: Mild Sweetness of vanilla, butter, cream and oak. Thin slices of red apples and bananas infused with the mild fragrance of flowers, almost perfume like and white pepper.
Taste: Vanilla and butterscotch with traces of barley on the palate. Quite floral, accentuated with the sweetness of stone fruits and stewed apples followed by wood and hints of cardamom.
Finish: Short; sweet with hints of butter.
When you think about grain, you are immediately welcomed by delicate, fragrant flowers like the scent of spring and the warmth of the sun falling on your face. And its this very contribution that makes grain whiskies introduce balance, breadth and a more palatable character to blends, which otherwise might cause the relatively young drinker to cringe.
The Haig Club checks all the boxes in terms of fragrance with a rather delicate profile and having said that it does seem a bit watered down needing you to add in that effort in appreciating the many nuances it offers. The Haig is a worthy additive to cocktails however might not be well worth on it’s own especially for the money it commands, which to me is solely because of the stardom status that comes with it.
All in all, an average dram, not anything to really brag about. A good option for the novice drinker or maybe even for the ladies, on it’s own or as a cocktail.