With the launch of Haig Club Clubman, David Beckham is increasingly being seen by many as the world’s most successful, creative and knowledgeable Master Distiller. Whiskysponge has been granted a rare sit-down interview. We’ll attempt to go behind the mask of genius and see how true distilling brilliance thinks, breathes and finds space for extra tattoos.
We meet David at what many describe as his true heartland: the Cameronbridge distillery. Considered one of Scotland’s most picturesque distillation spots and home of the unique Beckham craft. David is typically – and stylishly – late. Whiskysponge is sent an anonymous text saying that David is ready to meet behind grain silo 15. It takes 15 minutes to navigate the remarkable late-1970s stainless steel pipe work architecture – the influences of both Rembrandt and Chaucer in the layout and execution of the physical environment are absolutely clear if they had both been completely different people. When we reach grain silo 15 we are sweaty and somewhat dishevelled. The air is enriched with the deft scent of caustic soda and Linx Java. Beckham steps out from behind a valve the size of a Mini Cooper with the careful aid of Google Maps and elegantly bags a Pokemon.
“I am David Beckham” declares David Beckham.
“Yes, I know” we reply while attempting to brush decomposing spelt from the shin of our jeans. Nick Morgan’s avatar hovers just above Beckham’s shoulder, a gentle – almost fatherly – hand placed glowing and steady upon the towering man’s well inked shoulder. Beckham is naked apart from tweed trousers and a pair of Haig Club Blue distiller’s wellingtons.
“Begin the interview” instructs Beckham. Whiskysponge is nervous and fumbles with our typewriter and Victorian oak bureau. Our first question is drowned out by the brief 30 minute sound of a grain silo being transferred to a nest of Asian children for milling. A plump Bluebottle fly lands on Beckhams left eyeball; to his credit, he does not blink.
“Mr Beckham, why Haig Clubman?” we eventually enquire.
“We realised Haig Club was too expensive so we have created an identical product which is pitched at a price category to correctly compete with Jack Daniels and…” Nick Morgan’s avatar has descended closer to Beckham’s ear and is whispering. Puffs of enigmatic blue light are leaving his lips like strands of spider web and entering Beckham’s muscular ear canal. Beckham casually tweets a selfie and begins re-addresses the question:
“That is not actually what I think. I created an artisanal, deeply personal and profound liquid narrative on the nature of what it means to put coke in things. Where Haig Club was luxurious, the Clubman is merely prestigious, premium and slightly less expensive in a way that exhibits everything I am trying to say. Also the bottle is a slightly different shape which is important because it is different and slightly harder to hit with a football from inside a Limo.”
Whiskysponge struggles to type fast enough and has to briefly change ribbons in our typewriter. Nick Morgan’s avatar smiles while David mistakes him for a rare Pikachu and attempts to capture him before becoming momentarily distracted by the sight of his own arms. “How did you make Haig Club Clubman Mr Beckham?”
“We take real, carefully crafted Smirnoff Vodka and a giant sieve full of cask staves and pour all the Smirnoff Vodka through the sieve. Then place the precious nectar in special blue bottles designed to make people want to put them in their face.”
“When did you first begin Master Distilling Mr Beckham?” Whiskysponge enquires next.
“I was one the cusp of adolescence when I first Master Distilled; alone in my bedroom at home. My parents had left the house temporarily to arrange my future marriage to Victoria and I was simply experimenting as young people so often to at that age. I had heard other, older boys at school talk about Master Distilling; some even boasted of how they would often Master Distil multiple times in one day. I felt I should try it for myself but I was not prepared for how wonderful it felt, I can still recall those ecstatic initial moments as the milky foreshots first spilled forth from my little spirit safe. I was not yet skilled in the ways of separating out my foreshots, heads and tails; the first few times I Master Distilled it was messy and took great efforts to clean up. I was very secretive about my new habit in those early days. I was so desperate to pursue my dream of Master Distilling but my parents insisted I learn a real trade in case it didn’t work out for me so I had to become a professional footballer instead. I remember all those times on the pitch, running around, falling over, pretending to be hurt, running about some more, crying, looking confused, missing penalty shootouts; all the time dreaming of distiller’s yeast and musty bung holes. Thankfully my dream is now realised and I am able to create works of great and exquisite liquid art such as Haig Club Clubman.”
Whiskysponge asks David to repeat the bit after ‘cusp of adolescence’ as the typewriter is proving quite difficult to use and is even verging on impractical. Nick Morgan casually bares his little blue, avatar bum to the Twittersphere so Caroline Dewar can lavish it with slobberingly wet kisses once again while he informs people who disagree with Diageo’s whisky ideology that they are ill-informed, bitter idiots without any shred of a valid argument.
“What do you hope your masterpieces will achieve Mr Beckham?” Whiskysponge enquires while abandoning the typewriter in favour of a wax cylinder recorder.
“I hope that it will enable everyone in the world to come and live in one of my adverts with me in the Scottish Highlands. I hope it will mean we can all embrace the inherent forced femininity of the Scottish landscape these adverts employ and maintain our construct of imposed Tartanry and the Scottish landscape as a implement of satisfaction for – and to be controlled by – the wealthy elites. And at least one pretty Asian person because China.”
Nick Morgan’s Avatar bristles with glee and whispers more blue stuff into Beckham’s ear while Beckham absentmindedly tattoos a small Giraffe with the head of Victoria Beckham onto his shoulder blade. “Actually I hope everyone discovers that Whisky is a thing. Haig Club is a gateway to all the other Whisky I have made in Diageo’s special play parks. I hope they discover the 1976 37 year old Lagavulin I made and the 50 year old Glenury Royal I made. And especially the 13th-15th release Port Ellens I made which are not sold yet because people are selfish and not spending enough money on them. Haig Club is my gift to Whisky because it will definitely get all the sort of people we definitely want to drink whisky to drink it. It will make them climb inside the glasses and lick themselves like special cats!”
At this point David Beckham disappears in a puff of smoke and Nick Morgan’s Avatar goes off to meet a gathering crowd of Influencers at the gates of Cameronbridge distillery to tell them everything will be ok and that he still really respects each of them personally and that they really do have integrity and that the world will be ok in the end. Then Whiskysponge woke up.