Haig Club Skybar – Lowland Whisky with a Sky High view
I do love The Cube Architecturally, the building is stunning and it has a great mix of living, dining, drinking, spa treatments and even a bowling alley on the way apparently…
Its newest resident is Haig Club‘s new Bar, next to Marco Pierre White Steakhouse on level 25 of The Cube. I was invited to see the new bar, try the cocktails being whipped up by head bartender, Jack Spencer and sample some of their small plates!
If you haven’t heard of the brand, you’ll recognise their partners in the shape of David Beckham, who is even present at the bar in the shape of an autographed poster, and Simon Fuller of Spice Girls & Pop Idol fame.
The whole ethos of Haig Club is to bring it up to date and give whisky a modern, easy drinking feel. Their main product is the single grain Haig Club (obvs), in its distinctive squat cobalt blue and copper bottle, echoed in the bar design. Their more recent addition is Haig Clubman made in ex bourbon casks to be a much sweeter whisky.
The 25th floor gives some stunning views and there are some great landmarks to spot out of the corner of the building like the Peace Gardens and Beetham Tower. It looks even prettier at night (as Birmingham does!).
Whilst we did the usual blogger mingle and catching up with friends old and new, we tried a whisky and Coke, always refreshing combination, before taking our seats ready for a quick talk from Jack
Jack went over the difference between the Club and the Clubman giving us neat samples of both. I prefer the slightly more ‘robust’ of the two Club whilst the majority of the rest of the group went for the Clubman.
Both had been designed as easy ‘blending’ whiskys for cocktail making and pairing. They are what I’d call a neutral whisky so if you’re not a big whisky drinker, this may be worth you trying to start out.
All the cocktails for the evening were showcasing the Haig Clubman and Jack has created over 20 cocktails, using both Haig Club and Clubman to tempt your taste-buds if you want to vary away from the menu.
Our second cocktail (or first if you don’t count whisky and Coke as a cocktail) was Pears in Paradise, a combination of Haig Clubman, Pear Liqueur, Cloudy Apple Juice, Cinnamon and Lime with a slice of pear too! These reminded me of the pear drop sweets every grandparent seemed to carry in their pocket when I was growing up. It was a shade too sweet for my liking but still nice and refreshing.
Time for food!
Our first round of dishes was Smoked Duck & Sesame Skewers, rolled in Honey, Chicken Satay Skewers, Black Pudding Bon Bons with homemade brown sauce and Patatas Bravas. All quite rich and powerful savoury and sweet flavours to punch with the Pears in Paradise.
The next beverage on the list was Clubman Apple Mule, Haig Clubman, Apple Juice, Ginger Beer and a slice of dried apple for those who worry about my fruit and veg intake. One of my faves of the night, a really nice refreshing summer cocktail with a spicy lilt to the end from the ginger beer.
The next round of food was Moules Mariniere (the first time I’ve seen it as a small plate) in a nice rich white wine & cream sauce. There was also some Aromatic King Prawns which lived up to their name, being huge and a nice spicy aroma. The Iberico Ham & Dijon Crocquettes were also huge with a reach, creamy, chive sauce wrapped around chunks of ham, topped off with a panko breadcrumb outer. The final dish of this round was their Chorizo & Black Pudding Sausage Rolls in puff pastry. The sweetness and spice of the chorizo and black pudding combined well, though the puff pastry was a bit too ‘shrapnel heavy’ for me.
The next cocktail was a Ginger Julep, Haig Clubman, Ginger Liqueur, Mint and Lime. The sharpest out of the three and yet the sweetest at the same time, with the lime juice having fisticuffs against the spicy and sugary ginger liqueur, which made for an interesting sip.
Our final trio of dishes was their Scotch Eggs, soft boiled eggs rolled in Cumberland sausage meat and panko breadcrumbs, Chorizo Frito al Vino, chorizo glazed with sweet red wine, and more Patatas Bravas.
The Chorizo was my favourite dish of the evening and was also nosily appreciated by the whole table; the scotch egg was lovely too.
The final cocktail and treat was to watch Jack show off his skills with a Berry Beauty, Haig Clubman, Chambord, Grand Marinier, Sugar Syrup, Raspberries and Burnt Rosemary. All poured in a glass pyramid.
I finished my fruity cocktail whilst looking at that beautiful view. If you fancy something a little bit different in a cocktail bar and those stunning views, you should check it out.