First there was Haig Club, over priced, not great quality and in a truly truly dreadful bottle, now there is Haig Club Clubman, the new David Beckham (If someone wants to explain to me all the hate for David Beckham please get back to me, I think he comes across as okay) and Simon Fuller and Diageo and probably loads of other people and companies too Single Grain whisky from CameronBrig Grain Distillery, it’s the whisky whisky snobs love to hate, but will it be a whisky I just don’t like very much or is it blending like Beckham ?(I couldn’t squeeze that shit joke in anywhere else, sorry).
The bottle is no longer terrible, in fact it’s quite nice.
Now, when I first saw this being released I didn’t really have any interest in it, I have enough whisky to keep me going, I thought £26 was a bit steep and I certainly wouldn’t be getting any samples through the post but then two things happened.
1. I read a review by Barry Bradford of WhiskyPhiles
which you can read on the link provided and.
2. It was on special in Tesco for £18.
So I picked up a bottle and brought it home.
I’ve been sipping at this for a few days now and I spent a couple of hours experimenting with my usual whisky cocktails and put it up against Wild Turkey which is what I’d normally use when making whisky based cocktails, but I’ll get to that later.
I bet you’re dying to read the review, aren’t you? Thought so.
Nose. It’s light and off the bat reminds me of Hanky Bannister, decent well made grain whisky (and I know HB is blend but it’s very corn grain rich), vanilla and vanilla cream, creamy sweet porridge, honey, yeah you can really tell it’s been made in bourbon barrels, a slight feeling of clove and a dry wood note too, youngish but without any kind of spirit note.
Palate. A light bourbon feel, vanilla and toffee popcorn, creamy sweet porridge again, something citrus, it’s easy to sip on its own and I dare say it’d cope with ice but adding water does this zero favours, it kills it dead.
Finish. Quick and vanilla rich with some oak and mild dry spice kicking about.
So there it is, it doesn’t have huge complexity but then that’s not the point of it, is it?
So I also spent an afternoon mixing this, I make in the house three whisky based cocktails and I normally use Wild Turkey which I pick up for £15 when it’s on offer so when both of these are on offer then we’re only talking a few pounds of difference.
I made an Old Fashioned, Manhattan and whisky sour and I’d say the Wild Turkey still stood out in the Old Fashioned and Manhattan but the Sour I’d say the Clubman was the better option, it also went well with Lemonade and Lime and Ginger Ale which are two of my favourite mixers.
Would I buy another bottle of this? I dunno is the honest answer, the trouble with me is that I never really need to buy another bottle again, I have dozens of bottles I’ve bought over the years and I buy a bottle or so a month from auction or if I see a good deal even though I probably shouldn’t plus I’m always swapping samples with friends or getting the odd sample in from companies so if I stopped buying whisky right now and seeing as I how I drink a bottle’s worth over about six weeks then I’d be in my fifties before I needed to head off to the off sales. But, if I was someone who doesn’t have a whisky loch in my spare room then I guess I would, certainly when it was on offer which I suspect it will be to keep in competition with the likes of Johnnie Walker Red Label or Wild Turkey or whatever under twenty quid bottle you prefer as a mixer or sipper.
Something else too, it’s one of those whiskies which would be ideal as a whisky to clear the palate before you indulge on more complicated drams.
I do wonder though how many new bottles of whisky we actually need per year, it seems at the moment every distillery and bottler is putting out some new expression every other week, it’s almost as if this whisky shortage we keep hearing about is a load of old shit.
This isn’t aimed at me, it’s probably not aimed at you either but it will probably get more people into our wee club which I think is a good thing and it’s as good as most other entry level whiskies that people do start their whisky journey on.