Every now and again a whisky comes along that changes everything. A dram so radical and forward-thinking in its approach that it blows the competition away and births a bold new era in the long traditions of Scotch whisky. As recently as 2014, the industry froze in awe as one such whisky came into existence. To make things even more exciting, the beautiful blue bottle came with the backing of a national hero.
Scotch whisky famously fluctuates between periods of boom and bust. It would be fair to say, however, that the last decade or so has been good to the industry, with demand for quality spirits soaring ever higher. There are some of us, however, who felt this success has led to a stagnation of ideas. Some distillers seem afraid to try anything new, sticking to the same old formula to please the mass audience. Fortunately, just as hope of innovation was fading away, an unlikely saviour appeared on the horizon.
Much like he did against Greece on October the 6th 2001, David Beckham stepped forward when it really mattered, 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 an unholy matrimony. After all, there could surely be no greater representative of Scotch whisky than an English footballer.
Following arcane rituals and blood sacrifices, the dark alliance was finally forged and the finishing touches were put to plans that would shake the spirits world to its very core. In what proved to be a fortuitous turn of events, Diageo discovered massive stocks of blue perfume bottles in a warehouse. Chanting Lucifer’s name they enthusiastically filled each bottle with barely legal grain whisky from Fife, of all places.
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?’ whilst another showed their support by tweeting simply ‘David F*cking Beckham??!!’.
Haig Club was the brand the world didn’t know it needed. Its arrival changed the landscape forever and left other distillers running to catch up.
The Best Whisky. Ever.
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 vanilla ate a little too much vanilla and then vomited vanilla all over itself.
Thoughts: Anything under a five-figure sum has to be considered a bargain. 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 Haig Club. It is a real, genuine drop of liquid gold, that sprung forth from the loins of old Goldenballs himself. Truly, truly majestic.
*** UPDATE *** UPDATE *** UPDATE ***
In case it wasn’t painfully 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
Thoughts: Haig Club isn’t as bad as some whisky snobs have made it out to be. It’s just rather simple. There’s cereal notes, some vanilla notes and a wee bit of citrus. It’s completely inoffensive and therefore, rather hard to hate. Where it really falls down, however, is in the pricing. £45 is excessive for a young grain whisky. Especially since Diageo already bottle the same stuff under their Cameron Brig label and charge half the price for it. Style over substance? Absolutely.
*If, for some strange reason, the whisky reviewed in this article has caught your eye, you can buy it from Master of Malt here. Please be aware that as an affiliate I can be paid a small commission on any purchases you make after following links from my page. The whisky is also available from several other excellent retailers.