From Cameronbridge distillery in Fife, on the edge of Eastern Highlands and Lowlands, the Haig grain has set about creating a marketing space for a “different” kind of whisky.
It does not look like your traditional whisky bottle.
It does not attempt to claim space with your standard dram.
It steers far away from being “traditional” and instead embraces being a base for cocktails, welcomes ice, says hello to cola and more….
As they put it, it is deliberately “designed” to be different.
Forget everything you thought you knew about scotch. Experience the new world of scotch whisky.
So what did the Whisky Ladies of Mumbai collectively think?
Haig Club 40%
- Nose – Initially a hit of pure alcohol, then starts to slip into a fresh, citrusy scent, some spice, light vanilla that over time started to reveal a nice butterscotch or caramel quality
- Palate – We had quite a mixed response here – some found it smooth, innocuous honey water whereas others thought it flat to the extend of simply nondescript alcohol
- Finish – Not much, short, perhaps a hint of honey ginger?
- Water – Surprisingly given this was already at the low end of alcohol strength for a whisky, we actually did try it with water… and found it made it even more of an “easy drinking” whisky
We certainly weren’t “wowed” by this Haig grain but hadn’t expected to be either.
It was very “accessible” which is a nice way of saying easy-drinking without much distinctive character.
What was more amusing was the division of opinion on whether the “perfume” style bottle was aesthetically pleasing or not. Just like the palate, the room was divided between liking and not.
What is it exactly? A combination of three cask types – first-fill, rejuvenated and refill bourbon barrel-matured whiskies.
Beyond that… here’s what the folks producing it have to say :
HAIG CLUB’s ultra-smooth character and toffee and butterscotch notes can be paired with a variety of complementary flavours to add extra layers of complexity, resulting in a range of cocktail styles that eclipse most whisky brands and showcase unexpected ways for people to enjoy Scotch.
- Appearance: Light, bright gold with a fine viscosity, suggesting freshness and sweet flavour.
- Nose: Light creamy butterscotch or custard, with tropical fruits and citrus becoming richer and sweet; a pleasing light woody spiciness.
- Taste: Icing sugar or coconut creamy sweetness, butterscotch, and a mouth-watering spiciness. Like a tropical fruit salad with a fresh clean balance.
- Finish: Short and very clean, with traces of freshly sawn wood.
And what would a bottle of the Haig set you back? You can find it online at Master of Malt for £39.95 or various duty free airports around Asia. Our bottle was purchased a few years ago and opened in September 2018.
PS – Photo credit goes to our contributor – with thanks!
What did the Whisky Ladies try in their Grain evening?
- Suntory Chita NAS 43% – A key element in Suntory’s popular Hibiki blend which brings together the Chita grain with Hakushu and Yamazaki
- Nikka Coffey Grain 45% – Last sampled in April 2016 and enjoyed its piña colada character
- Cambus Single Grain 24 year (1991/2015) Cask 55891 51.9% – From a Lowland discontinued distillery, part of Singatory’s Vintage edition, picked up from Whisky Live Singapore 2017
You can find more on a page dedicated just to Grains here.
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