Monthly Archives: October 2014

Beckham’s New Club

Earlier this week we saw the launch of a new whisky within the Diageo family: Haig Club. This “collaboration” expression was launched by none other than David Beckham. With such a star involved it kinda feels like a real-life version of Bill Murray’s Bob Harris advertising Suntory in the film Lost In Translation, albeit Mr Beckham is far from washed-up!

At WU, we’ve got mixed feelings on this.

Firstly the ad itself talks instantly about the bottle. Obviously, with Becks on board, image is going to be important, but what does that say about the whisky? Also, to be frank, when you look at the bottle itself, it leaves you wondering whether you’d pour it into a glass or put a dash on your neck before heading out for a night on the tiles. It’s unique, we’ll give it that.

Secondly, they talk, very briefly, about the flavour. It’s distinctive apparently. That’s it. And with all participants in the ad raising their glasses aloft, full to the hilt with ice, you’ve got to ask whether that’s a good message about a whisky. WU are yet to taste this dram and a full review is imminent, so we will reserve judgement for now.

Thirdly, and this may be the most important aspect, the whisky itself is a single grain whisky. Haig is, of course, known for its grain whisky, but this has got us thinking: is this an attempt by the big money to stylise grain whiskies and up their game outside of the malt whisky world? The market is definitely becoming more and more saturated with different malts, particularly those that have been matured in numerous different vats – you may have seen that Jura recently released a whisky that has been matured via 7 different casks!! Clearly the marketing team have been trying to think outside of the box here and certainly getting Beckham’s chiseled looks behind it will raise attention worldwide. Are we therefore going to see a rise in sales of grain whiskies? Maybe. Our thoughts are that this could go one of two ways but could very well be a master stroke by Diageo. We’ll just have to wait and see, and put it on ice for now…

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