Drink Like David Beckham
The soccer superstar checks off his next goal: launching his own whisky.
Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.
Now you can bender like Beckham.
The soccer super-stud has paired with beverage giant Diageo (producer of brands such as Smirnoff, Bailey’s, Tanqueray, and Guinness) and British entrepreneur Simon Fuller to produce Haig Club, a single grain Scotch whisky that will be released in the U.S. later this month.
As its name would suggest, a single grain whisky is one that contains just a single grain—often barley, but occasionally corn, wheat, or rye. In this case, it’s Scottish wheat (the distiller adds a touch of barley to aid with the fermentation process, but not enough to mess with the whisky’s single-grain status). Haig Club is being produced at Cameronbridge in Fife, Scotland’s oldest grain whisky distillery, and master distiller Chris Clark says that Beckham was very involved in the process.
“David learned the processes of grain whisky production by visiting Cameronbridge distillery, Cambus Cooperage, where our barrels are prepared for filling,” he says. He adds that when the spirit got to the maturation process, Beckham weighed in on everything from the type of casks used to how long to age the product.
It turns out Beckham is a good boss, too: “He is very engaging and listens intently to what is said. Speaking to colleagues who have also met him, we all agree that one of his greatest attributes is his ability to put everyone at ease—which makes for a relaxed and open working relationship,” says Clark.
The whisky comes in a cool, blue glass bottle, which the company says is a nod to distilling’s history. Once upon a time, distillers used blue glass cups to sample their products, so that the color of the whisky wouldn’t influence their judging of its taste.
“What I like the most about Haig Club is that it is approachable for people who do not consider themselves to be whisky drinkers,” says Clark. “It is also a whisky that, due to its sweet, creamy, butterscotch flavor, can be taken neat or over ice.”
We definitely tasted the sweetness when we tried the whisky, and it does have vibrant spice notes. But it’s not the smoothest whisky we’ve ever tried. It would be delightful in a cocktail, and that’s how Beckham apparently likes it.
50ml Haig Club
35ml Sparking Apple Soda
6 Dashes of ginger bitters
Serve over ice in either a highball or tumbler. Garnish with a long, thin slice of ginger root.