I apologize in advance for my very lame title pun.
It’s no secret that David Beckham was recently in town. Amidst all adoring fans of his, I was one of the first 40 people to have an audience with him. 😉
His being here is no coincidence – he’s here to launch Haig Club, a single grain Scotch whisky under the Diageo company umbrella. Together with Datuk Jimmy Choo, Beckham will be launching the new whisky bottle here in Malaysia, which will be available exclusively at Troika Sky Dining.
We gathered within the cosy confines of The Smokehouse at The Majestic Hotel KL, awaitng Beckham’s arrival after his 3pm appearance was delayed to 6pm due to a delay in flight. Patiently, we waited, while sipping on a cocktail made with Haig Club whisky, complemented with ginger bitters.
I was admiring the contemporary design of the Haig Club whisky bottle. The appearance and unique blue color of the glass bottle is no coincidence – it was inspired by the tradition of blenders using blue tasting glasses so the spirit can be reviewed on aroma and taste alone, without any biasness caused by color or appearance.
As for the drink, it is butterscotch-smooth with a slight hint of tropical fruit and an unexpected, spicy backing to it. Paired with the ginger bitters though, it is surprisingly sweet, smooth and very delightful. I am not a whisky person, so this is saying a lot coming from me.
At the final hour of waiting, we were then ushered into the Orchid Room to take a seat and await Beckham’s arrival. We were entertained by a promotional video (featuring Beckham, of course) and a few speeches from Datuk Jimmy Choo and a few representatives from Diageo. Until at last, Beckham arrives into the room – I was amazed by how good he looked in person. No Photoshop here people, he is the real deal.
We launched into a Q&A session with him where most questions revolved around Haig Club whisky and Beckham’s role in designing the bottle. He even mentioned that he usually likes his whisky on the rocks and that his favorite cocktail is The Haig Clubmen. After that, Beckham and Datuk Jimmy Choo opened the crate of freshly bottle Haig Club whisky from their time in Scotland – a short photo op ensued before he had to dash off.
This is the recipe for Beckham’s favorite drink, The Haig Clubmen:
- Hand-cracked ice
- One long slice of root ginger (ideally cut with a mandolin)
- 50ml Haig Club
- 35ml sparkling apple soda
- 6 dashes of ginger bitters
Serve in a highball or tumbler
All of us were then whisked off to The Smokehouse again, for a short whiskey tasting session with Ewan Gunn, the Global Whisky Master of Haig Club. Here he educated us about the making of Haig Club whisky and the reason why it has such a unique flavor. He then walked us through a tasting of the whisky, without any mixers or ice to affect the flavor. I got the lovely hint of vanilla and butterscotch, much stronger this time – and also a slight hint of pineapple. The whisky was smooth but without any mixers, the burn was quite strong at the back of the throat, but there wasn’t any lingering taste. That’s how smooth single grain Scotch whisky tastes like.
It was a terrific experience, and one that I’m hardly ever to forget! 😉