A whisky brought to you by David Beckham and Simon Fuller working along side Diageo present Haig Club. Although I don’t quite know how that works since David Beckham doesn’t actually drink. Well putting that to one side for the moment, Haig Club is a sweet single grain Scotch whisky that comes from Camorenbridge Distillery the oldest grain distillery in Scotland. This whisky is certainly different, not only because of its unique taste but because of its main market.
Speaking to industry experts, shop keepers and high end boutique alcohol specialists a funny pattern has emerged. Where the traditional whisky drinker was generally in his mid thirtys and over, it would seem that Haig Club is bucking the trend. It seems to be attracting young drinkers in their early twenties. You might ask, ‘what does this mean?’ or ‘why?’ Well the answer is simple. Firstly it is promoted by David Beckham, and what young man in his mid twenties growing up watching Beckham doesn’t want to be like him. Secondly and probably more importantly this is a very sweet whisky, this means it is far easier to drink for a new whisky drinker moving on from lager and sweet cocktails. This demographic is usually fresh out of university, with new jobs, student loans a thing of the past looking to drink quality rather than quantity.
Its not a horribly sweet whisky but rather pleasantly sweet. Where as some of the other Diageo brand whiskys are smokier or peaty which can be a little overwhelming for the novice whisky drinker, this one is heavily waited towards the sweeter end of the spectrum. I think this is also the reason my wife who isn’t usually that fond of whisky quite enjoyed it.
On the nose you get a quite sweet spiced fragrance coupled with stewed apples. The spice that dominates is vanilla but with hints of cinnamon. On the tongue the initial taste of sweet vanilla. As you swallow you get a slight bitter taste This fades to leave a warm spicy sensation on the tip of your tongue and in the back of the. In the back of the throat the bitter taste lingers for a bit before fading to leave a pleasant well rounded warmth.
Diageo are promoting Haig Club as a whisky that can be mixed or sipped neat, however I recommend drinking it neat. As I mentioned above this whisky is quite sweet unless mixed with something like bitter lemon I feel any mixer would overpower the quite delicate flavors that are already almost hidden by the sweetness of this whisky. Another reason I wouldn’t recommend drinking it mixed is that it is a relatively expensive whisky priced at around £45. I would recommend instead using something like J&B or Jameson for mixing both priced at around £35. This is because most mixing is done with sweeter ingredients which meld better with warmer spicier whiskies.
Although not my first choice in whisky, slightly depressingly I somehow feel that me being in my late 20s almost 30 am not or certainly at the edge of the target demographic for this whisky. Haig Club is a nice easy drinking whisky. This together with the message that Diageo are trying to promote of quality over quantity means I will proudly display a bottle in my bar just in case someone asks for it.