Haig Club Clubman Single Grain Whisky Review: David Beckham’s Scotch Whisky
| 2017-05-08T23:21:41+00:00 Last updated: September 8th, 2021|
Haig Club Clubman Single Grain Whisky Review: David Beckham’s Scotch WhiskyCharles-Philippe2021-09-08T16:09:06-04:00
With David Beckham at the helm of their advertising campaign, it comes as no surprise that Haig Club has become a favourite whisky for those who enjoy the nightlife. Therefore, we thought that we would put it to the test with a detailed whisky review to see whether the whisky is worth the hype.
In this review, you will discover Haig Club Clubman with us as we explore the following topics:
Seemingly new after extensive rebranding, Haig Whisky actually has a fascinating history that dates back to the early 1700s. Named after Kane McKenzie Haig, he founded his company, which went on to become the Jameson Distillery. Meanwhile, another was build in Fife and is today known as the Cameronbridge Distillery. For most of its history, it was the subject of many mergers with other companies. Today, however, it has been reborn into a modern and accessible brand.
The first thing that you’ll notice with Clubman is its almost straw-coloured hue, which I would liken more to a lager or pale ale beer. Swirling my Peugeot whisky glass, I noticed that the legs were quite thin but slower than expected when running down the sides.
Being an affordable glass that’s marketed for mixing, I half expected it to be chill filtered. However, upon adding a few drops of water to the glass, I was surprised to learn learn that it wasn’t. In fact, it produced some energetic and thickly viscous swirls.
Haig Club’s Nose
Notes: Coconut, Pear, Butterscotch, Toffee
Despite an overall briney character, Haig Club’s nose is remarkably sweet. While it’s not particularly intense nor complex is aroma, it is rather pleasant with a smooth eucalyptic nosefeel.
Behind its sharp tingle, there were some unexpected notes that I quite enjoyed. For instance, the coconut and Williams pear were quite a surprise. Meanwhile, the butterscotch and toffee, while somewhat flat, weren’t unpleasant to take in.
Haig Club’s Palate & Mouthfeel
Primary Tastes: Salty, Sour
Mouthfeel: Oily, Mentholated
Opening: Williams Pear, Brine, Bay Leaf
Heart: Bay Leaf, Crème Brûlée, Toffee
Finish: Short-Medium [Vanilla, Fudge, Peat]
Although marketed as a sweet whisky, I actually found this expression to be quite salty and even sour in terms of its primary flavours. Admittedly, this actually wasn’t unpleasant and I imagine that it would mix well with something fruity.
Indeed, I’m already thinking of mixers as this isn’t realistically a libation that most would consider sipping neat. Nevertheless, it’s not as unpleasant as some whisky enthusiasts say. In fact, I’d even say that it’s been treated unfairly by those who put it up against decade-old single malts.
Its overall texture is quite light but it does have an oily property. However, it’s still a very young blend. Its opening reveals the same Williams pear notes as experienced in the nose alongside some chewy brine and aromatic bay leaf.
After a short while, you would be able to big up some creamier sweet notes of crème brûlée and toffee. However, it seems like the bay leaf note persists right up until the finish.
Eventually, Clubman releases an understated yet agreeable finish of vanilla and fudge with a slightly peaty note at the sides of the tongue.
Perhaps it sounds somewhat absurd but I would consider this to be something of a dessert whisky. Indeed, its brine and sour profile would contrast well against sweet dishes. Being somewhat bracing without being overly citrus, it would go wonderfully with a lemon meringue pie.
Otherwise, thick and creamy fudge would be fine as would smoked salmon if you prefer something savoury. As for cigar enthusiasts, they would probably enjoy this best with a mild cigar. In fact, I immediately thought that the Nub Connecticut would be the ideal choice.
If you’re somebody who enjoys affordable Kentucky Bourbon or Tennessee Sour Mash, you’ll likely enjoy Haig Club. However, as mentioned above, this will ultimately be a whisky that most people will mix. Being quite mild and inoffensive, it would be a perfect choice for cocktails. Alternatively, you could just blend it with some Coca-Cola.
Finally, I suppose that because it has been essentially marketed and produced for mixing, nobody would be offended if I were to suggested sipping it neat with ice?
Overall Experience & Value For Money
I actually quite fond of how Haig Club has been presented. Its tall, rectangular bottle is bold yet understated with simple lettering. Meanwhile, the geometric ridges on the side help you keep a firm grip when you’ve had a few too many. Overall, the bottle is actually somewhat reminiscent of gin rather than whisky.
Being marketed as an accessible whisky, Haig Club doesn’t come in cardboard packaging. However, given the price that I’ll mention afterwards, this is something of a shame.
When acquiring a bottle to sample, we found it in the UK for an extremely affordable price at a Tesco in London. In fact, it had been discounted from £26 for one litre down to only £19!
However, we were quite surprised to find that it was much more expensive in the USA at around $50 for 70cl. Prices vary according to your state but we tended to find the best rates through Drizly.
It’s high price may make people think twice – especially if they’ll be diluting it into a $2 soft drink. Nevertheless, it’s probably one to consider bringing to parties as you’ll be confident that it’ll be devoured within moments of you arriving.
Although an admittedly overpriced product, Haig Club is bound to sell well and even perhaps become an iconic whisky for young people. Being quite inoffensive and easy to drink, it’s very accessible. And with David Beckham as the brand’s face, it’s unlikely to fail.
Yet, I do feel that it’s treated unfairly by the whisky community. Indeed, it’s not the best expression that I’ve ever tried. However, it’s not trying to be either. Overall, it’s a pleasant and approachable whisky that can be happily sipped neat, on ice, and even mixed without offending anyone.
Charles-Philippe's work has covered a broad range of subjects from cigars and fragrances to wine and spirits. Fascinated by how history and culture together form the unique contemporary identities of alcoholic beverages, his articles follow an in-depth exploration of their development through a combination of tradition and innovation.