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Every now and again, a whisky comes along which changes everything. A dram so radical and forward thinking in its approach that it blows the competition apart, launching a bold new era in the long traditions of scotch whisky. As recently as 2014, the industry stood frozen in awe as one such whisky was born. Packaged in a ground-breaking blue bottle, this wasn’t just a magnificent dram, it also came with the backing of a national hero.
The scotch whisky industry famously fluctuates between periods of boom and bust, but the last few years have been good to the producers of single malt, with demand for quality spirits soaring ever higher. In many ways this has led to a sort of stagnation of ideas, with distillers afraid to try anything new. However, just as it appeared any hope of true innovation was lost, an unlikely saviour appeared on the horizon.
Much like he did against Greece on October the 6th 2001, David Beckham stepped forward, only this time, instead of firing a trademark free-kick goalward, he chapped politely on the doors of Diageo HQ and asked them to join him in unholy matrimony.
Following months of arcane rituals and blood sacrifices, a dark alliance was finally sealed and the finishing touches were put to plans that would shake the spirits world to it’s very core. In what would prove to be a fortuitous turn of events, Diageo discovered massive excess stocks of blue perfume bottles which they filled with barely legal Cameron Brig grain whisky.
After a camera crew had filmed David Beckham getting drunk in the highlands of Scotland for a few days, the brand launched to great critical acclaim, with social media awash with comments praising the whisky. One twitter user wrote ‘So, is this like an aftershave or something?’ and another showing their support by tweeting simply ‘David F*cking Beckham??!!’.
Haig Club it seemed, was the brand the world didn’t know it needed. It’s arrival changed the landscape forever and left other distillers running to catch up.
Haig Club is a single grain whisky that was put in some wood for a while. It comes in a fetching blue square and costs about £4000 a bottle.
Smell: More Vanilla than Vanilla. It’s Vanilla, but turned up to 11.
Taste: Wow! Even better than the nose. Wonderfully thin and watery with a character which suggests that vanilla ate a little too much vanilla and then vomited vanilla all over itself.
Value for Money: To be honest, anything under a five figure sum has to be considered a bargain.
Score: 50.5 / 50.
When I started writing this blog, I never dreamt for a single second that I would come across a spirit of such exquisite beauty as this Haig Club dram. I felt that awarding top marks simply wasn’t going to be enough so I added on an extra 0.5 for what can only be described as the most remarkable whisky the world has ever seen. A real, genuine drop of liquid gold, secreted from the inner workings of old Goldenballs himself. Majestic.
*** UPDATE *** UPDATE *** UPDATE ***
In case it wasn’t obvious from my writing above, this review was a little joke for April Fools day. Below is a slightly more accurate description of my feelings toward Haig Club.
Smell: Vanilla, Coconut, Lemon, Cream
Taste: Vanilla, Lemon, Honey, Cream and a touch of Spice
Value for Money: This is where Haig Club really falls down for me. £45 is excessive for what is essentially a young, bourbon-matured grain whisky.
Score: 32.5 / 50
For the record, I don’t think Haig Club is as bad as many make out. It is a drinkable, if basic dram that has unfortunately been well overpriced. For me, a bottle of Cameron Brig is by far a better purchase.