Beckham launches single grain Scotch

A Scottish whisky distillery can now blend it like Beckham.

The retired English football star has teamed up with English entertainment entrepreneur Simon Fuller and British alcohol giant Diageo to launch a new single grain Scotch whisky.

Called Haig Club, the whisky is produced by Scotland's oldest grain whisky distillery, Cameronbridge in Fife, and was officially launched in Singapore last Friday.

Mr Ewan Gunn, 37, Haig Club's global ambassador, tells Life! that they wanted to "shake up the way people thought about whisky", and encourage people who have always wanted to try scotch but found it intimidating to give it a go.

Tying up with an international celebrity like David Beckham would raise the brand's profile and introduce scotch to a new audience, he says.

He adds: "It's not just another celebrity endorsement, David's actually been rolling up his sleeves, spending time in Scotland learning about the Haig history. He's been involved in the bottle design and the liquor creation... and will continue to be involved."

Mr Gunn, who has more than 16 years of experience in the whisky industry, says Haig Club is a "lighter, more delicate style" of whisky compared to single malt scotch.

The blend is created by Chris Clark, an experienced whisky blender with more than three decades of experience with Diageo.

The whisky is matured in three different types of casks to give what Mr Gunn says is a "good balance, with really good depth and flavour... a very gentle, approachable whisky which can be good for someone trying the spirit for the first time".

It has a sweetness to it, offering a mixture of citrus, butterscotch and coconut notes, with a slight hint of pepper and spice.

The whisky is a nod to the Haig family, who are said to have operated one of the first whisky distilleries in Scotland in the 1600s.

In 1824, one of the family's descendants, John Haig, built the Cameronbridge distillery, which produces Haig Club today.

Single grain Scotch whisky is produced using malted barley and other cereals such as wheat, and is distilled in column stills, resulting in a lighter style of whisky compared to single malt Scotch whisky.

Single malt Scotch whisky is produced using only malted barley and usually produced in a single malt distillery in copper pot stills.

Single grain Scotch whiskies are not very common in the market, which makes Haig Club unique, says Mr Gunn.

He says: "Usually, grain Scotch whisky is used in blended scotch, where single malt and grain whiskies are blended together. The grain Scotch adds a sweetness and gentle side, and it helps other flavours pop more in a blend. But it's a great whisky on its own."

For now, Haig Club is distributed in Singapore through Moet Hennessy Diageo and is available only at Changi DFS Singapore, with a recommended retail price of US$62.50 (S$80.97).

It is also stocked at several cocktail bars, hotels and restaurants such as Manhattan at Regent Singapore hotel, restaurant-bar Kinki in Collyer Quay, Bacchanalia in Coleman Street, and Match restaurant and lounge and nightclub Bang Bang at Pan Pacific Singapore hotel.Seasoned local bartenders Kamil Foltan of restaurant Tippling Club in Tanjong Pagar, Steve Leong of Tess Bar And Kitchen in Seah Street and Stuart Danker of Jigger And Pony in Amoy Street have also created speciality cocktails using Haig Club whisky.

These can be ordered at their bars, with prices upon request.

This article was first published on November 18, 2014.
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