Haig Club

Haig
Haig Club was released with much fanfare after the collaboration with footballer David Beckham and British entrepreneur Simon Fuller, with many taking it as a swipe to ‘outsiders’ who attach their name to a brand to make quick cash, whilst others looked at it as a great opportunity to shed light on a brand and category that has some elements that need a 21st Century update to its customer audience.

It’s with this that I take a closer look and see if the hype is worth its name.

The House of Haig itself is built on nearly 400 years of distilling heritage and can trace its whisky producing roots back to the seventeenth century in Scotland. In 1824, John Haig established Scotland’s oldest grain distillery, Cameronbridge, and is said to have perfected the art of producing Grain Whisky in continuous Coffey and Stein stills.

Haig Whisky quickly rose to become one of the most successful and popular Scotch whiskies in the world before falling into decline some 30 years ago as it left the Haig family ownership and was passed through a series of multinational drinks companies. In 2014, Diageo launched a new Haig whisky to add to the existing old guard whisky stable of Haig Gold Label, Haig Dimple and Haig Pinch blended scotch whiskies; Haig Club, an expression utilising a unique process that combines grain whisky from three different cask types.

But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Haig Club – 40%

Light butterscotch and fudge on the nose, with a slight hint of tropical flesh fruits coming through. Subtle notes of vanilla, butter and toasted oak on the palate, with a hint of coconut and tropical fruit provide a long, slightly dry finish.

A great flavour profile to enjoy on its own, or indeed within its signature serve;

Haig CLub - New Old FashionedNew Old-Fashioned

Glass – 

Rocks

Ingredients – 

60 ml Haig Club
10 ml Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters

Method – 

Build by adding cubed or hand cracked ice in an Old Fashioned glass or tumbler. Add Haig Club and pour in 10 ml of sweet Vermouth. Drop in 2 dashes of orange bitters and garnish with a lemon twist and cherry and serve with a glass stirrer for the drinker to dilute.

The inspiration for the name Haig Club can be found in archive materials dating back to the 1920’s, in which Haig Whisky was advertised as “The Clubman’s Whisky”. Last year also saw the release of the Haig Club Clubman, the different in it being matured exclusively in American ex-bourbon casks. Either one a good call for your drinks cabinet, and its versatility means you can create a decent drink, whether cocktail or mixer. To be fair, I’d enjoy it on its own, it works!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

8O8

808

8O8 whisky hasn’t got your traditional background story, but an intriguing one none-the-less.

Who would have thought i’d be mentioning DJ TommyD in a feature on whisky? But then again, sometimes the best spirits just need passion of creation to be behind the reasoning of their existence. DJ’s are creative people, needing to be on the pulse of their audience to create the sounds they wish to hear. Whisky distillers are the same, having to think of the trends and tastes of their ideas years in advance. So it makes sense then that DJ TommyD has come together with his business partner Paul Pullinger and whisky legend Jonathan Driver.

After designing their liquid, they took it to the North British Distillery in Edinbrugh, and one of the oldest grain producers around. Using this inspiration, they created a finished liquid using a blend of different grains including maize and barley.

The bottle and label itself has been designed by Mark Farrow of the Pet Shop Boys fame. The name though comes from the Roland Tr-8O8, an electronic drum machine, said to give ‘soul’ to the beat, now 8O8 gives ‘soul’ to the whisky experience.

So how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

8O8 – 40%

Very light and thin on the nose, with hints of lemon juice and subtle grain. Thick texture of oat and damp charred oak, with a butter profile following into a very light, yet dry cracked black pepper finish.

Good to sip over ice, but take a look at some of these recipes for some mixer inspiration –

808 - Saint 08
Saint 08

Saint 08

Glass – 

Wine

Ingredients – 

40 ml 8O8 whisky
25 ml St Germain elderflower liqueur
20 ml Rosemary syrup
25 ml fresh lemon juice
1 Lemon
2 Sprigs of Rosemary

Method – 

First fill your wine glass with crushed ice to chill it as much as possible. Add 40ml of 8O8, 25ml St Germain, 20ml Rosemary syrup and 25ml of fresh Lemon juice to your shaker. Fill your shaker with cubed ice and shake hard. Empty your wine glass and refill with fresh crushed ice and strain the cocktail over the ice. Give the drink a gentle stir and cap with more crushed ice. Garnish the drink with 2 Rosemary sprigs and a Lemon wheel.

Or perhaps,

808 - Coco8 Hiball
Coco8 Hiball

Coco8 Hiball, by Ryan Chetiyawardana (Mr Lyan, International bartender of the year 2015)

Glass – 

Hiball

Ingredients – 

35 ml 8O8
35 ml Coconut water
Ginger ale
Mint sprig

Method –

Build in a hiball over cubed ice, stir briefly, then add spanked mint sprig. Serve on a beach…

A whisky for the Summer, especially with its versatility. Good on its own, but a great mixing grain whisky! One for the cabinet for sure.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.