David Beckham and Diageo teamed up a while back to bring into life, perhaps the most marketing driven whisky ever released. Haig Club. A fashionable, mixable single grain that so smooth it barely tastes of whisky at all! Completely disregarding the rich history of the Haig’s and any of the other Haig brands made over the years.
When I explain grain whisky at masterclasses, I often use Haig Club as the example because many people have heard of it but haven’t heard of grain whisky. Grain whisky is often made with wheat (because its cheap and it makes lots of whisky) and small amounts of malted barley (for enzyme content), run through huge industrial, continuous stills and pumped into re-re-re-re-re-refill Hogsheads for the minimum amount of time (3 years). They do all this to maximise yields. Quantity, not quality is the name of the game. 99% of grain whisky will end up in cheap blends, making up around 70-80% of a blended whisky.
These particular ones are probably from Diageo’s huge Cameronbridge distillery.
"The greatest trick the whisky industry ever pulled was convincing the world that ‘grain whisky’ is actually whisky." - Johannes van den Heuvel
Haig Club 40%
Colour: Light Gold
Nose: Very light and sweet, a bit of vanilla, bit of a grainy cereal note.
Taste: Smooth but lacking in defined character, vanilla and cream, maybe a tiny bit of fruit and nut.
Finish: Short length. Smooth!
Expensive for what it is. Much more marketing than substance. Its actually amazing how little flavour they’ve managed to pack into this!
Haig Clubman 40%
Nose: Modern vanilla and modern oak very pronounced. Column still alcohol is very faint. Nothing more.
Taste: Very easy going and actually pleasant in places. Soft vanilla, some very easy oak, soft, soft, soft.
Finish: Short/Medium length. Column still alcohol reveals itself with a bit of harshness.
Actually very drinkable and extremely mixable, which of course is what is was designed for. No off notes, a little boring but not bad stuff. A nice surprise, as this is the much cheaper version.
Thanks for reading!
Scotch Review #592-#593
Single Grain Review #12-#13
Whisky Network Reviews #702-#703
Network Average: 74.7
Best Score: 93
Worst Score: 12
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good
Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.