Diageo announces launch of whisky in collaboration with David Beckham

Diageo, the world's leading premium drinks company, announces today the global launch of Haig Club Single Grain Scotch Whisky, in partnership with global sporting icon David Beckham and British entrepreneur Simon Fuller.

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

Haig Club is a new innovation from the House of Haig, Scotland's oldest grain whisky dynasty and makers of Haig Blended Scotch Whisky and Dimple Scotch Whisky. Built on 400 years of distilling history, the House of Haig can trace its whisky producing roots back to the seventeenth century. In 1824 John Haig established the Cameronbridge Distillery and it was there that 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. Haig Club is born of that Haig family legacy of innovation and excellence in whisky creation.

David Gates, Diageo's Global Head of Premium Core Spirits, commented: "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."

Beckham commented: "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."

Simon Fuller said: "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."

Haig Club has been crafted using a unique 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 that the company believes will be enjoyed not only by current whisky drinkers, but also by those who have always wanted to try whisky.

Respected whisky authority Dave Broom is one of the few drinks experts to have tasted Haig Club. He described it 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…"

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."

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

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