Monday, January 23, 2017

Review - Haig Club Clubman

The Clubman is the first permanent addition to the Haig Club single grain Scotch whisky range. Like the original Haig Club, which was launched to much media coverage in 2014, the new Clubman is a collaboration between brand owners Diageo, ex-footballer David Beckham and media guru Simon Fuller.  The name is inspired by a 1922 advertising campaign for Haig whisky that celebrated a series of whisky-drinking clubs and marketed as 'The Clubman's whisky since 1627'.  The Clubman is designed be the mainstream product in the range with Haig Club being the luxury option.

As with the original Haig Club the liquid for the Clubman expression is distilled at the Cameronbridge single grain distillery in Fife.  The key difference is the treatment of the liquid - Clubman has been matured exclusively in American oak ex-bourbon casks, whereas Haig Club uses three types of cask (re-fill, ex-bourbon and rejuvenated).  Other differences include the price, the bottle design and serving suggestions.

The Haig Club Clubman is bottled at 40% ABV and is widely available in supermarkets, convenience stores and specialist retailers alike.  The recommended retail price is £25.

Our tasting notes
The colour is pale gold and the nose is light, delicate and fresh.  There are prominent aromas of vanilla and butterscotch to begin with some soft honey and plasticine (or is it putty?) in the background.  Hints of wood spice, green apple and acetone are also present.

On the palate this whisky is much as expected from the nose - light, delicate and fresh.  The sweetness is reminiscent of fudge and butterscotch with some soft heather honey also coming through.  There are further notes of vanilla essence and creamy cereal grains.  Underneath is a distinct characteristic of crisp, tart green apple and a hint of lychee and acetone.  Hints of cinnamon, white chocolate and menthol round this off.

The finish is short and warming, especially once the fudgey/butterscotch sweetness fades.  The cereal and cinnamon notes last longest.  After sampling it neat, we tried the Clubman in other ways - it was very refreshing with ice and worked well with both apple juice (with a slice of ginger) and cola.  The sweetness in particular stands out well.  A good choice for a whisky beginner.