How do you sample a whisky, without tasting it?

David Beckham’s whisky Haig Club is designed to be accessible, sweet, and comforting. One taste and you’re in love. But in ‘Dark Markets’, where alcohol sampling is illegal, how do you give consumers a taste? We were approached to find a sensory solution to this problem – to create a sampling mechanic at airports, where ‘liquid on lips’ sampling isn’t allowed.

Haig Aroma fact

Our key insight, that taste is at lease 80% smell, led us to create an aroma that gives the sensation of tasting Haig Club. That’s not the smell of the whisky, but the smell of the taste of the whisky. With all the luxurious mouthfeel and sweet brioche notes that you experience when you drink it. We worked closely with the distillery to define the flavour profile and then our in-house aroma team created the perfect scent.

Referencing David Beckham’s love of body art, we then created a Haig Club crest, etched onto a stamp. And imbued Haig Club Blue ink with the brand aroma.

Haig Club Stamp

When travellers were invited to taste the whiskey, a brand ambassador applied the scented ink stamp to the back of their hand. They were then gestured to raise their hand in a toast, and bring it to their nose to ‘drink up’ the aroma. They not only experienced the taste, but were left with a beautiful smelling Haig Club crest on their hand for the flight home.

5 times more samples were handed out and an uplift in sales was reported straight away. It was so successful that Haig Club began using the sampling at Heathrow, where you can do real samples.