Diageo to launch new grain whisky with Beckham

Haig ClubDrinks group Diageo has teamed up with footballer David Beckham and pop entrepreneur Simon Fuller to launch the new Haig Club single-grain Scotch whisky.

Haig Club is a new innovation from the House of Haig, Scotland’s oldest grain whisky dynasty and makers of Haig blended and Dimple Scotch whiskies.

The new whisky has been crafted using a unique process that combines grain whisky from three cask types, which creates a fresh, clean style that showcases butterscotch and toffee for an ultra-smooth taste.

Diageo believes the taste profile means it will be enjoyed not only by current whisky drinkers but also by those who have always wanted to try whisky.

Leading whisky expert Dave Broom has described Haig Club as “a hugely versatile spirit, and I expect bartenders will love what they can do with it. Forget everything you thought you knew about Scotch…”.

Working alongside Diageo, Beckham and Fuller will play a fundamental role in developing the brand, its strategy and positioning. Beckham will also lead the promotion of a responsible drinking programme for Haig Club.

David Gates, Diageo’s global head of premium core spirits, said: “Whisky is experiencing a continued global renaissance and, like many of the world’s most respected whisky experts, we believe this will be the year that grain whisky breaks into the mainstream and gains the recognition it deserves.

“Diageo has a proven track record in Scotch whisky innovation and we have applied this expertise through the House of Haig in liquid development and craftsmanship, creating a sophisticated new whisky in Haig Club.

“David Beckham and Simon Fuller are renowned for breaking boundaries and shaking up markets in every sector in which they work. We are immensely proud to partner with them on our first large-scale grain whisky innovation.”

Haig Club will be launched globally later in the year, including the UK. Details around pricing and availability will be announced nearer the launch.

The House of Haig can trace its whisky producing roots back to the 17th century. In 1824 John Haig established the Cameronbridge Distillery where he pioneered the art of producing grain whisky in continuous Coffey and Stein stills – an invention which laid the foundations for the growth and success of the modern Scotch whisky industry.

Beckham said: “The House of Haig has a rich history and I’m proud to be working at the heart of a home-grown brand which has built an incredible heritage over 400 years. Working closely with Diageo, we look forward to collaborating on Haig Club, valuing and treasuring the Haig traditions while reinventing this whisky for years to come.”

Fuller added: “This is a long-term commitment. It is important to us that we create something unique and of great quality. With Haig Club we have an opportunity to push boundaries and help shape how Scotch will be perceived in the future. It’s an exciting proposition. We could not wish for a better partner than Diageo.”

Syl Saller, Diageo’s chief marketing officer, said: “We see this launch as a terrific accelerator for the whole sector, and one that really strengthens whisky’s position as the most vibrant spirits category.

“Consumers are constantly searching for new and different tastes and experiences and they are especially excited by those that come from authentic, heritage brands. And Haig Club certainly ticks those boxes.

“Throughout his career, David Beckham has been at the forefront of emerging trends and rewritten the rules of what it means to be a modern sportsman and businessman, and we are pleased he has decided to turn his hand to Scotch.”

With a professional football career spanning over 20 years, Beckham captained England for six years, won the British Premier League six times and the UEFA Champions League with Manchester United in 1999.

Having left Manchester United in 2003 for four successful seasons with Real Madrid, Beckham moved to LA Galaxy in 2007, taking the team to two MLS Cup Championships while participating in a time-share agreement with AC Milan in January 2009 and again in January 2010. His is now retired.

Fuller is the founder of XIX Entertainment and created hit TV talent show American Idol. He is known for his work in discovering and developing music artists such as Annie Lennox, Kelly Clarkson, The Spice Girls, Amy Winehouse, Carrie Underwood, Will Young, Lisa Marie Presley and Cathy Denis.

In 2012, he was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to the global entertainment industries. He also oversees the careers of Beckham, Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton, and tennis champion Andy Murray.

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