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LONDON – The world can now get a taste of David Beckham’s take on single malt, as the former L.A. Galaxy star’s own brand of whisky has hit shelves here at up-market retail giant Selfridges.
Haig Club Single Grain Scotch Whisky is a collaboration between Beckham, English entrepreneur and music manager and Beckham manager Simon Fuller and international liquor giant Diageo under a deal announced in April. It has been produced by House of Haig, said to be Scotland’s oldest grain whisky dynasty with roots going back some 400 years, although Diageo said that Beckham and Fuller, who first came to prominence managing the Spice Girls and later created the Idol TV franchise, will play a “fundamental role in developing the brand, its strategy and positioning.”
The spirit, which comes in a dark blue bottle more reminiscent of men’s cologne, costs $77 (£45) and, according to the manufacturer, showcases notes of butterscotch and toffee. It is expected to remain on sale at Selfridges, a vast department store on the U.K. capital’s central Oxford Street, until the end of the month before moving elsewhere.
Beckham’s association with an alcohol brand hasn’t gone down entirely well in some parts of the country, though. When the deal was first revealed, U.K. charity Alcohol Concern slammed the 39-year-old father of four for endorsing the product and urged him to withdraw from the arrangement.
“It’s incredibly disappointing that David Beckham, a global icon who has wide appeal to children has chosen to use his sports star image to promote spirits,” said the charity’s deputy CEO Emily Robinson at the time.
“Given David Beckham’s other roles promoting sport and a healthy lifestyle to children, we believe this will send a confusing message to them about the dangers of alcohol and its impact on a healthy lifestyle, and we call on the star to rethink his association with this product.”
As part of the agreement with Diageo, however, Beckham is also set to lead the promotion of a responsible drinking program for Haig Club.
While financial details of the deal haven’t been announced, the whisky tie-in adds to a bumper list of endorsements for the retired former England soccer captain and Britain’s wealthiest sports star. According to Forbes, Beckham banked $42 million between 2012 and 2013 for commercial endeavors that included lucrative contracts with Adidas, H&M, Coty, Sainsbury’s, Burger King, Samsung, Pepsi and Breitling.
Recently, Beckham’s long-running project to bring his own Major League Soccer franchise to Miami appeared to have been derailed after the city’s mayor rejected plans for a 25,000-seat stadium adjacent to the Miami Heat’s American Airlines Arena on Biscayne Boulevard.
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