Diageo signs Beckham for Haig Club single grain Scotch launchBy Becky Paskin
Diageo is launching a single grain whisky brand, Haig Club, in collaboration with former footballer David Beckham and British music mogul Simon Fuller.
Created from grain whisky from Cameronbridge distillery, home of the low-volume Cameronbrig single grain whisky, Haig Club will launch as a 40% abv, no-age-statement product comprised of a variety of aged whisky from three types of cask: first-fill, rejuvenated and refill Bourbon barrels.
Beckham and Fuller will play a “fundamental role” in developing the brand, while Beckham will also work to establish a responsible drinking programme for Haig Club, which Diageo claims is at the heart of the brand.
Diageo believes Haig Club could drive interest in the emerging single grain whisky category, which is currently occupied by a handful of independent bottlings and William Grant’s recently launched Girvan brand.
“We see this launch as a terrific accelerator for the whole sector, and one that really strengthens whisky’s position as the most vibrant spirits category,” said Syl Saller, chief marketing officer for Diageo.
The group believes 2014 will be the year “grain whisky breaks into the mainstream and gains the recognition it deserves”.
Haig Club, which takes its name from the family of distillers and Scotland’s oldest whisky dynasty that founded Cameronbridge Distillery in 1824, will be launched later in the year.
Beckham, who is retired from playing football, said: “The House of Haig has a rich history and I’m proud to be working at the heart of a home-grown brand which has built an incredible heritage over 400 years.
“Working closely with Diageo, we look forward to collaborating on Haig Club, valuing and treasuring the Haig traditions while reinventing this whisky for years to come.”
Fuller, who founded the successful American Idol reality TV show, added: “With Haig Club we have an opportunity to push boundaries and help shape how Scotch will be perceived in the future, it’s an exciting proposition.”
Haig Club has a vanilla, honey, floral and fresh green apple nose with notes of raisins and toasted almonds on the palate and a spicy, long finish. It is designed to be both mixed into cocktails and drunk on its own.
The brand, which will comprise of just one expression initially, is expected to launch globally this summer in both domestic and travel retail. An RRP has not yet been released.