Haig (whisky)

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Bottle Haig Whiskey.jpg
TypeScotch whisky
ManufacturerJohn Haig & Co Ltd
Country of originScotland
Former headquarters in Markinch.

Haig (/hɡ/) is a brand of Scotch whisky, originally manufactured by John Haig & Co Ltd. The brand and its original distillery[clarification needed] are now part of Diageo, the world's largest spirits company and a major producer of beer.[1]


Haig offers four whiskies:

  • Haig Club, described as "light and sweet", in a rectangular blue bottle. It was launched in 2014 as a single grain whisky with no age statement, in association with David Beckham and Simon Fuller.[2][3] The spirits for Haig Club are sourced from the Cameron Bridge distillery. The range includes Mediterranean Orange Spirit Drink, made with single grain whisky and other natural orange flavours.[4]
  • Haig Gold Label, in a low-shouldered round bottle.
  • Haig Dimple, a more expensive blend with "a heavier malt influence of whiskies from Glenkinchie and Linkwood", labelled as 15 years old, in the dimpled, three-sided bottle.
  • Haig and Haig Dimple Pinch, the U.S. version of Haig Dimple.[5]


A John Haig whisky flagon from Markinch, Fife Folk Museum

Kane McKenzie Haig founded a distillery in the early 1720s in the Kennetpans near Stirling, which became Scotland's largest distillery by 1733.[6] It has been called the world's first commercial distillery.[7] Stein[who?] had taken over some land and distilling operations from a local monastery. (Stein's distillery is now in ruins, and fund-raising was attempted in early 2015 in an effort to try to preserve its remnants.[6])

Robert Haig was a distiller in the early 1600s and a member of the Scottish Clan Haig family. His great-grandson Kane McKenzie Haig, who lived in the Kennetpans area, married Margaret Stein of the Stein family in 1751 and founded the company known as John Haig & Co.

Their daughter, also named Margaret, married a local lawyer John Jameson from Alloa in 1788. On marriage, John and Margaret Jameson moved to Dublin to run a new Stein family distillery in Bow Street which had been opened in 1780.[8] Contrary to popular belief, the Jameson Irish Whiskey company was not actually founded in 1780, but in 1810 when John Jameson bought the distillery from his wife's cousins, the Steins. The original Jameson Distillery in Bow Street is now home to the Jameson Visitor Centre. The Stein, Haig, and Jameson families were significant figures in the whisky market from that time forward.

A Haig distillery, now known as the Cameronbridge distillery, was founded in 1824.[2][9] In 1830, it became the first distillery to produce grain whisky using the column still method invented by Robert Stein in 1826 (before the later better-known refinement developed by Aeneas Coffey).

John Haig & Co. was subsequently merged into the Distillers Company Limited (DCL) in 1877.

DCL combined with John Walker & Son and Buchanan-Dewar in 1925 and was then acquired by Guinness in 1986,[10] which put it into its United Distillers subsidiary in 1987. Guinness then merged with Grand Metropolitan to form Diageo in 1997.[11]

Most current variations of the Haig brand are produced using spirits from Diageo's Glenkinchie distillery and Linkwood distillery.

Bottle design[edit]

Haig was bottled in a distinctive three-sided bottle with dimpled sides, starting in the 1890s. The bottle was registered as a trademark in the US in 1958 by Julius Lunsford. It and the bottle design for Coca-Cola (which was also registered by Lunsford) were the first two bottle designs to appear in the Principal Register of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.[12]


One of their best known advertising slogans was Don't be vague, ask for Haig.[13] Another was an inch of Pinch, please![14][15]

In popular culture[edit]

Haig Whisky is alluded to in the fourth episode of season three of Yes Minister, entitled "The Moral Dimension".[citation needed]

In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Phil Coulson and Melinda May plan to drink a bottle of Haig in celebration of a to-be-determined dangerous mission.[16]

In the penultimate episode (S5E15) of Breaking Bad, Walter White orders a "Dimple Pinch neat" at a bar in rural New Hampshire.[citation needed]



  1. ^ "Haig Dimple Scotch Whisky | Haig Whisky". Haig Whisky. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
    - "Haig Pinch". Haig Whisky .Com. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b "About Haig Club". Haig Club official website. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  3. ^ "Diageo launches Haig Club – a new Scotch Whisky – in partnership With David Beckham and Simon Fuller". Diageo. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Haig Club Mediterranean Orange".
  5. ^ Stuart McNamara, "The Home of Haig Whisky Club"
    - Haig Whisky, "Haig Dimple Scotch Whisky"
  6. ^ a b McNamara, Stuart (31 January 2015). "Haig Whisky Distillery Restoration & Preservation". Haig Whisky Club. Haig Whisky Club. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  7. ^ "July 2015: Work begins on ruin". Kennetpans Trust. July 2015. Archived from the original on 20 June 2016. Retrieved 7 June 2016.
  8. ^ McNamara, Stuart (24 November 2014). "Haig Whisky & Jameson – History of the Whisky Cousins". HaigWhisky.Com. Haig Whisky Club. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Haig Club Single Grain Scotch Launch". The Spirits Business. 8 April 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2016.
  10. ^ "Guinness directors showed 'contempt for truth'", BBC News, 28 November 1997
  11. ^ Diageo: History
  12. ^ Constance L. Hays (30 September 1999), "Julius R. Lunsford, 84, Trademark Law Expert", New York Times
  13. ^ Elizabeth Knowles, "Advertising slogans", The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, Oxford University Press
    - "Top 10 advertising slogans", The Guardian, 10 July 2003
  14. ^ Steve Rivkin, Fraser Sutherland, The Making of a Name: The Inside Story of the Brands We Buy, p. 125
  15. ^ Harold S. Sharp, Advertising Slogans of America, p. 224
  16. ^ Matt Webb Mitovich (7 December 2016). "S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Clark Gregg Talks 'Pros and Cons' of Coulson/May Twist — Plus, How [Spoiler] Is a 'Scarier' Ultron". TV Line.

Haig Whisky Club


  • Laver, James (1959). The House of Haig. Markinch, Fife: John Haig & Co. OCLC 502228353.