The Home Of The Haig Whisky Club
HaigWhisky.com celebrates all thats best about Haig Whisky, the oldest Whisky brand in the world. HaigWhisky.Com was developed by Whisky Blogger and Aficionado, Stuart McNamara who also edits WhiskeyBlogger.com, The Scottish Whisky Trail and IrishWhiskey.Com. Stuart wanted to ensure that the history and heritage of the oldest Whisky beand in the world was remembered and safe-guarded online. In particular, he wanted to create an online portal and reference point for the history of Haig Dimple and Haig Pinch Whiskies. Whether youre looking to buy the perfect bottle of Haig Whisky, discover the value and provenance of an old bottle you have found or just want to learn more about the history, heritage and art and science of Haig Whisky then youre in the right place. Slainte Mhaith!
The Production Of Scotch
Now that we know when we can call a Scotch a Scotch, lets take a closer look at the production process. Essentially, theres two types of Scotch: single malt Scotch, single grain Scotch and blended Scotch. Haig is a single grain whisky. Different single malts can be mixed to create a blended malt. Single malts and single grains can be mixed together into blended Scotch. And different single grain whiskies can be mixed together into blended grain.The production process of whisky comprises five steps: malting, mashing, fermentation, distillation and maturation.
Perfect With Tonic And Orange
Haig Club Clubman is delicious neat, or on the rocks, although the way we recommend to taste it is with tonic and orange. The sweet notes of Haig Club combine perfectly with the bitterness of the tonic and the fruity orange notes round off the drink in a delightful way creating an approachable and delicious drink, which is refreshing in taste and perfect in its simplicity. If you already love Scotch then you’ll enjoy this combination of flavours and if you’re new to Scotch this is the ideal introduction.
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Single Grain Scotch Whisky
Haig Club is made at Cameronbridge distillery in Scotland. The liquid has been crafted using a process that combines grain whisky from three cask types. This creates a fresh, clean style that showcases butterscotch and toffee for an ultra-smooth taste. Seen by many to be Scotland’s hidden gem, single grain whisky is being predicted by experts as the next trend in whisky.
Best Under $: Bruichladdich The Classic Laddie
Region: Islay | ABV: 50% | Tasting Notes: Green Apple, Brown Sugar, Grass
Bruichladdich is known for releasing some intensely smoky whisky, a signature flavor profile of the Islay region of Scotland. This includes the Port Charlotte and annual Octomore releases, which at times reaches some of the highest levels of peat in any whisky out there. But the core bottling is actually this lovely unpeated whisky.
The Classic Laddie is a non-age statement single malt that is light and full of notes of citrus, sweet malted barley, vanilla and honey. This is a good value at under $100, a great whisky to sip neat, and elevates a simple highball cocktail.
The team at Bruichladdich has been hard at work establishing themselves in the field, and this rare unpeated whisky from Islay absolutely brings some modern, forward-thinking, and transparency to the region.” Stephen Kurpinsky, U.S. brand ambassador for Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur
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Review: Haig Club Single Grain Whisky
It may sound odd to talk about vodka when reviewing a Scotch Whisky, but the newest member of the Diageo Whisky family, Haig Club, is as relevant to whats going on in the vodka space as it is whisky. Haig Club arrives at a time of great change in the spirits industry, one where ever-dominant vodka has started to give its top spot to whisky.
How did it happen? Part of the answer is hubris. Vodka never thought it would be anything less than king, so during the recent vodka flavor boom, vodka makers got greedy. Instead of focusing on their customers, they thought about cashing in, and the result was a flood of ridiculously flavored vodkas. At the same time, vodka companies did little to remind consumers to continue drinking their unflavored options why would they, they were kings. Now the vodka flavor boom has gone bust, the dust has started to settle, and all that growth that vodka was enjoying with flavors turns out to have been at the expense of its core unflavored business.
Haig Club is a blend of whiskies that have been aged in a combination of casks, including refill hogshead casks, refill ex-bourbon barrels, first fill bourbon barrels, and rejuvenated casks. Its a fairly sophisticated wood program, especially the rejuvenated casks, which are made by stripping and re-charring previously used casks.
Best Overall: Aberlour 16 Year Old
Region: Speyside | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Caramel, Oak, Spice
Aberlour is often overlooked by whisky drinkers here in the US, but undeservedly so. This Speyside distillery has an excellent lineup, with the 16-year-old landing right in the sweet spot of maturation between the 12 and 18, the other two age statement bottles in the range. The whisky is matured in both bourbon and sherry casks for 16 years before being married together and bottled. This provides it with the best of both worldsa rich, oaky structure with some sweet vanilla notes from the lengthy time in bourbon barrels, and ripe fruits and spices from the sherry casks.
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Overall Experience & Value For Money
I actually quite fond of how Haig Club has been presented. Its tall, rectangular bottle is bold yet understated with simple lettering. Meanwhile, the geometric ridges on the side help you keep a firm grip when youve had a few too many. Overall, the bottle is actually somewhat reminiscent of gin rather than whisky.
Being marketed as an accessible whisky, Haig Club doesnt come in cardboard packaging. However, given the price that Ill mention afterwards, this is something of a shame.
When acquiring a bottle to sample, we found it in the UK for an extremely affordable price at a Tesco in London. In fact, it had been discounted from £26 for one litre down to only £19!
However, we were quite surprised to find that it was much more expensive in the USA at around $50 for 70cl. Prices vary according to your state but we tended to find the best rates through Drizly.
Its high price may make people think twice especially if theyll be diluting it into a $2 soft drink. Nevertheless, its probably one to consider bringing to parties as youll be confident that itll be devoured within moments of you arriving.
Haig Club Single Grain Scotch Whisky 70cl
Haig Club Deluxe is a stunning Single Grain Scotch Whisky that boasts a fresh, clean style. As whisky continues to experience a global renaissance, Single Grain Scotch Whisky – for so long lost in the shadows of single malts and blends – represents an exciting new direction in Scotch. The rise of Single Grain Scotch Whisky has been both predicted and eagerly anticipated by spirits experts as the “next big thing in whisky” and we are proud to be at the forefront of this movement.
Haig Club Deluxe, our iconic blue bottle stands out from the usual browns and greens of whisky decanters and will make a stunning addition to any spirit shelf.
Haig Club Deluxe is crafted at Cameronbridge, the oldest single grain distillery in Scotland. Using a unique process that combines grain whisky from three cask types, get ready for a whisky that’s as versatile as it is delicious. It is a smooth, sophisticated new take on Scotch that’s perfect to sip neat, over ice, or at the heart of a cocktail.
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Haig Club Single Grain Scotch Whisky
70cl / 40% David Beckham has made his mark in the world of whisky with the launch of Haig Club. A light and sweet grain whisky, Haig Club is aimed at drinkers who have yet to be won over by whiskys charms. Named after John Haig, the founder of Cameronbridge distillery , Haig Club is superb over ice, in long drinks or in short cocktails its an easy-drinking dram that will win anyone over.
Best 10 Year Old: Jura 10 Year Old
courtesy of Total Wine
Region: Islands | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Orange, Cherry
Though not as well-known an island as its neighbor Islay, the isle of Jura also boasts a history of scotch productionand its namesake distillery offers a delicious and approachable 10-year-old expression. This scotch is rested in bourbon barrels and then finished in Oloroso sherry casks, says Adam Morgan, head bartender at Husk Nashville. This unique finish lends a balanced yet sweet finish that dances between spice and oak. The smoke on this particular scotch is soft and intriguing for any first-time scotch drinker.
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Best Port Cask Finish: The Dalmore Port Wood Reserve
Region: Highlands | ABV: 46.5% | Tasting Notes: Berry, Mocha, Ginger
Many scotch distilleries finish their whiskies in port pipeshuge wooden vessels that previously held port, and named for the Portuguese word “pipa,” or caskwhich provides a different way to enhance the flavor of a whisky. The Dalmores already intensely fruity and complex single malt offers striking notes of ripe plum, cherry and dried apricot in the Port Wood Reserve expression. This non-age statement whisky is initially aged in bourbon barrels before being finished in Tawny Port pipes from W & J Graham’s winery in Portugalexemplifying why port wood is a preferred cask finish.
Region: Highlands | ABV: 46% | Tasting Notes: Espresso, Tobacco, Orange
Glenmorangie offers a wide selection of whiskies, from the 10-year-old core expression to some incredibly expensive vintages. Although the Signet single malt does not bear an age statement, it does not need one .
According to the distillery, roasted chocolate barley malt is used in the mash bill, and the spirit is aged in designer casks. I love coffee and chocolate notes in both spirits and cocktails so this one sings to me, says Meaghan Dorman, bar director at Dear Irving on Hudson. Velvety and sophisticatedthis is a unique spirit, worth the investment.
Best Peated: Ardbeg Uigeadail
Region: Islay | ABV: 54.2% | Tasting Notes: Peat, Spice, Oak
If you like peated whisky, this is one of the best out there for sure, says Kurpinsky. Ardbeg is something of an Islay cult favorite, particularly appealing to true lovers of smoky whisky. The flavor of this Scotch comes from burning peat to dry out the barley and stop the malting process, which infuses the grain with smoke. This bottling, named after a local loch, has all the maritime salinity you come to expect from the distillery literally on the water, but also has one of the most satisfying finishes in Islay, adds Kurpinsky. You’ll get plenty of smoke, dried fruits, fresh coffee, dark sugars and that bit of sea salt.”
Region: Islay | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Black Tea, Smoke
McCoy is a big fan of Lagavulin, an Islay distillery that produces some nicely peated scotch. The 16-year-old expression, aged in second-fill ex-bourbon barrels, might be a little pricey, but its well worth the splurge. one of my all-time favorites from Islay, says McCoy. Big peat smoke, spice, sherry and notes of soft wood and black teadelicious all by itself while you’re unwinding next to the fire.
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Haig Clubs Palate & Mouthfeel
- Primary Tastes: Salty, Sour
- Opening: Williams Pear, Brine, Bay Leaf
- Heart: Bay Leaf, Crème Brûlée, Toffee
- Finish: Short-Medium
Although marketed as a sweet whisky, I actually found this expression to be quite salty and even sour in terms of its primary flavours. Admittedly, this actually wasnt unpleasant and I imagine that it would mix well with something fruity.
Indeed, Im already thinking of mixers as this isnt realistically a libation that most would consider sipping neat. Nevertheless, its not as unpleasant as some whisky enthusiasts say. In fact, Id even say that its been treated unfairly by those who put it up against decade-old single malts.
Its overall texture is quite light but it does have an oily property. However, its still a very young blend. Its opening reveals the same Williams pear notes as experienced in the nose alongside some chewy brine and aromatic bay leaf.
After a short while, you would be able to big up some creamier sweet notes of crème brûlée and toffee. However, it seems like the bay leaf note persists right up until the finish.
Eventually, Clubman releases an understated yet agreeable finish of vanilla and fudge with a slightly peaty note at the sides of the tongue.
Best Under $: The Glenlivet 12 Year Old
Courtesy of Reserve Bar
Region: Speyside | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Apple, Citrus, Vanilla
The Glenlivets 12-year-old expression is extremely popular, and for good reason. Its priced affordably and has a really approachable palate, according to Chris Dempsey, bartender at Xaman in Dallas. Its not too peaty, and its really the best everyday drinking whisky for a great price, he says.
The whisky was matured in a combination of American and European oak and is a good entry-level bottle for those who dont want to spend too much but are looking for something with complexity of flavor.
Region: Highlands | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Almond, Baking Spice
This is a classic Highlands whisky and is an interesting look at one of the whiskies that makes up the much better-known Dewars White Label.
A major malt component of the Dewars blend comes from Aberfeldy, a distillery that has been around since the beginning of the 20th century. The 12-year-old expression is a great value single malt, usually available for somewhere between $30 and $40. For that relatively low price, the discerning drinker is rewarded with flavor-rich, syrupy notes of honey punctuated by bursts of vanilla and paired with a gentle spice undercurrent.
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Our Top Pick Is The Aberlour 16 Year Old
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Best Splurge:Lagavulin 16 Year Old at Drizly
Aged in second-fill ex-bourbon barrels, the 16-year-old expression is well worth the splurge.
Many scotch enthusiasts may discover that they’re well into their journey of appreciation before they ever actually learn what the phrase “single malt” even means. To be considered a single malt scotch, the whisky must be distilled from a mash bill of 100 percent malted barley at one distillery and aged for a minimum of three years in wooden casks. Distillers are then allowed to get as creative as theyd like, from experimenting with the number of distillations to using a variety of cask finishes.
There are more than 120 distilleries in Scotland making single malt whiskymuch of which is ultimately destined to be used as a component in blended whiskies, but some of which is bottled as an individual expression of the particular distillery’s character.
Aberlour 16 Year Old is our top pick because the whisky marries during the sweet spot of maturation and creates a balanced flavor of rich oak, sweet vanilla, ripe fruits, and spices.
With a style out there for everyone, here are the best single malt scotch whiskies available in a range of categories.
Best For Cocktails: Auchentoshan American Oak
Region: Lowlands | ABV: 40% | Tasting Notes: Nuts, Pepper, Vanilla
While you might want to think twice about using that $300 bottle of 25-year-old whisky to whip up a Manhattan, there are single malt scotches that play beautifully in cocktails . One such whisky comes from Auchentoshan, a distillery located in the Lowlands just outside of Glasgow.
This triple-distilled whisky has an almost bourbon-like character, making it great to use in a Manhattan, Old Fashioned, Boulevardier, or any other whiskey cocktail you can think of.
Auchentoshan is one of the few Lowland distilleries making single malt. These whiskies are traditionally very light and grassy. The American Oak is matured in first-fill bourbon casks, giving it a vanilla fruity note. The grassy notes remain but under a lemon curd light citrusy and cream layer. Lynnette Marrero, co-founder of Speed Rack, bar director at Llama Inn
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Best Rum Cask Finish: The Balvenie Caribbean Cask
Region: Speyside | ABV: 43% | Tasting Notes: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Spice
Finishing whisky in a rum cask might not be as popular as sherry or wine casks within the single malt scotch category, but there are some benefits. A rum barrel brings new flavors to the mix, like banana, brown sugar and cocoa. The Balvenies Caribbean Cask 14-Year-Old Scotch is a stellar example. Everything about this whisky draws you in, says Otsuji. The ex-rum barrel finish creates a sense of richness in the flavors, like toffee or caramel, toasted oak, or perhaps a bit of honey on fresh papaya but rather than expressing itself as a sugary taste, it comes through as a luxurious textural element.