Bought: Whisky Auction, 5th October 2016
85.86/100 – Whiskybase (average from 9 member votes)
In the summer of 2015 I had a tasting session of vintage blends. I confess I’m inclined to be a diehard single malt fan but I’m prepared to try new things. On the menu were Queen Anne, Vat 69, Glenshiel and Haig Gold Label. The first three were rather dull but just when I thought I’d wasted my evening I tried the Haig Gold Label from the 1970s (or possibly 1960s). Wow, what a fantastic dram! So good in fact that I vowed to find a full bottle. It took over a year to get one at auction but I finally did it.
I’ve seen Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible sometimes use the word “chewy” to describe a whisky but I’d never experienced that sensation on the pallet until the Haig Gold Label. It was wonderfully thick, complex and rewarding. Not surprising that it scores so well on Whiskybase where someone remarks “these older Haig bottles are really good value. Thick and syrupy but you have to like old caramel notes to really get the best from it.” In November 2016 a bottle from the 1970s sold for £22.50 at auction but they can sometimes make up to £60 depending on condition.
Tasting notes found online that I agree with are (with slight edit):
Nose: Spices, herbs, honey, tobacco, creamy, dark chocolate, light smoke, dried orange slices, red and dark berries – delicious!
Taste: Creamy, oily, round and powerful! Salt, black pepper, leather, chocolate, cocoa and light herbs. Added to this is a maritime note.
Finish: Long – perfectly matched! Creamy chocolate pudding (high-quality, dark chocolate with high cocoa content). The same aromas as before, but still more harmonious.
Bought: Online Whisky Auction, 7th September 2016
76.5/100 – Best Shot Whisky Reviews
This bottle of Haig ‘Supreme’ was a crazy “I like the bottle shape” online auction purchase. What was I thinking? But I thought 100cl for £22 was a very good price, especially as bottles can sometimes reach £60. From what I can deduce the Supreme was launched in 2013 for the South American market and doesn’t appear to be available anywhere else, expect at auctions. In Brazil the Supreme sells for the UK equivalent of £23.50 so I hardly got a bargain. It’s a budget blend produced from 20 different whiskies and matured in European oak.
76.5/100 on ‘Best Shot Whisky Reviews’ is a reasonable score. The author prefers the Supreme to the Johnnie Walker Red Label, which is in the same price bracket. Online shops in Brazil that allow drinkers to submit star ratings for the Supreme generally score it 5/5 so it seems like a decent dram. I’ve been unable to find any reviews in English on You Tube but I’ll be sure to add one if any appear.
Here are the official tasting notes:
Nose: aromas of fresh fruits with the sweetness of homemade apple pie. The delicate toffee and caramel nose is gently replaced with smoke and oak.
Pallet: sweet fruits with hints of melon and tangerines, creamy and sweet.
Finish: drying, gentle smoke aftertaste.
If they ever sell this in the UK I’d recommend the slogan “Haig Supreme – if you want to feel like a Columbian drug warlord. When you’ve drunk the whisky use the bottle to club your enemies to death.”
Haig Supreme launch video on You Tube:
Acquired 3rd October 2013. Part of my ‘Customs & Excise’ collection.
88/100 – Whisky Bible 2013 (for modern version)
86/100 – Ralfy, of www.ralfy.com (for 1960s version)
Review: – Ralfy – Haig Gold Label (1960s v 2010) – YouTube
I’m not yet sure which decade my bottle comes from but I’m hoping Ralfy’s review of a 1960s bottle is close to the mark. I wont open this one until I have a more modern bottling to compare it against.