Blending It Like ‘Dimple’, a Haig History

Hey, shady baby, I'm hot like the prodigal son

Pick a petal eenie meenie miney moe

And, flower, you're the chosen one

Well, your left hand's free

And your right's in a grip

 

As alt-J belts out this peppy number, the poster boy of English football pours out a good measure of Haig whisky, reveling in its amber radiance. Beckham’s journey with Haig Club may’ve began in the recent past, but the brand’s journey began as early as 400 years ago.

Known worldwide as Haig, Dimple Pinch or Haig’s Pinch, it is assumedly one of the oldest whiskies of the world. Currently under the ownership  of  Diageo, Haig has come a long way  from a modest beginning to becoming a whisky aficionado’s favourite.

The brand remained popular in the hands of the family ownership but the name gradually eroded due to the multiple companies it passed through. Be that as it may, the original distillery in Scotland prospered steadily and is now of the largest distilleries in Europe under the ownership of Diageo.

 

The Haig History

A distiller by the name of Robert Haig laid the stepping stones of the distillery  in  1600. About a 100 years later, John Haig, his great-grandson of Kennetpans founded the John Haig & Co. Ltd. after marrying Margaret Stein in 1751. The Haig Gold blend was released around this time.

Cameronbridge distillery, earlier known as Haig distillery came to be the cardinal distillery producing grain whisky in the year 1830. The distillery used column still distillation process, originally invented by Robert Stein in 1826 for making their whisky. This method was later refined by Aeneas Coffey.

John Haig & Co. and Distillers Company Limited merged in the year 1877. Demand for Scotch whisky was soaring and in 1893, Dimple Haig, also known as Dimple Pinch was first launched in the market. Following the merger, the dimpled bottle that the brand owes its name to  was introduced to the market in the 1890s. One of the most promising promotional slogans of the Haig whisky used around its flourishing years was “Don’t be vague, ask for Haig”!  However, by 1919, John Haig & Co. was fully absorbed by Distillers Company Ltd. Glenkinchie Distillery and Linkwood Distillery remain the main production units of variations of the Haig brand in today.

 

Christening Chronicles

Dimple, Blended Scotch whisky is known to have taken its name after the exclusivity that lies in the shape of its bottle. Easily detectable, thanks to the unique shape of the bottle, the spirit is packaged in an offbeat lozenge-shaped decanter resembling a dilapidated pot still. 

Dimple Haig, launched in the late 19th century was one of the superstar spirits of that time. The blend was luxurious, eliciting sophistication and soon gathered fans. In US this blend has been known as Dimple Pinch for quite some time.

 

Chronology of events

  • In 1824, the company John Haig & Co. was established. It operated the new distillery in Fife known as Cameronbridge distillery.
  • In 1877, John Haig & Co. founded Distillers Company Limited (DCL) in partnership.
  • In 1888, Haig & Haig established itself as an export company and covered the United States market particularly.
  • In 1893, John Hag & Co. introduced the whiskey named Dimple Haig.
  • In 1919, Distillers Company Limited fully absorbed John Haig & Co.
  • In 2013, Dimple Pinch got selected as the last dram of Walter White, a fictional character, in the final season of Breaking Bad, an American drama series.

 

The dram of choice for James Bond and his friend Felix in the original series of James Bond by Ian Fleming, Haig Dimple opens up to a spicy toffee palate with a citrusy nose, and rich caramel aftertaste.  If you are a whisky lover, try the other variety, Dimple Pinch, neat. We bet you will love it. Till then, here’s hoping your right hand’s holding a peg of Haig, raising a toast to the master blenders behind it!