A Whisky Toast To The Bard
Burns night celebrates all that is Scottish, and all that Burns loved. It's an evening full of whisky toasts: to haggis, to the lassies, to the laddies and to the bard himself. Here are eight of the best of Scotch whiskies to accompany your Burns supper this January.
Robert Burns Malt
The only Scotch to bear Rabbie Burns' signature, this single malt is endorsed by the Robert Burns World Federation. The malty and sweet liquid is an expression that hails from the Isle of Arran, close to his birthplace of Alloway in Ayrshire. It is perfect for toasting the bard as its smooth nature helps it go down nicely: toast after toast.
BenRiach The Smoky Twelve
Inspired by traditional Speyside malts of the 19th century, this sweet and smoky expression from BenRiach will compliment the rich flavours of a Burns night feast perfectly. From haggis, neeps, tatties to cranachan and tipsy laird, they will all benefit from this peated whisky pairing.
Glenturret 7 Year Old Peat Smoke 2023
Indeed, all whisky produced during Burns' lifetime would have been notably peaty. Prior to modern methods to dry out malted barley, peat was burned for this part of the process - imbuing the whisky with smoky notes. We know that Burns liked Highland whiskies best, and Glenturret distillery is the oldest Highland distillery having been founded in 1763, not long after the bard was born. Therefore, we can assume that he would have liked this wonderfully peaty and fruity dram - a whisky close to those he favoured in his heyday.
Balblair 25 Year Old
However, Burns' favourite whisky was Ferintosh, made by the Forbes family on the Black Isle. Although long gone now, the iconic Balblair distillery is located close by. We think Burns' would have enjoyed Balblair 25 Year Old equally, if not more, as the precious bottling boasts an oily palate of rich chocolate praline, tobacco leaf, and blood orange.
Glen Scotia 15 Year Old
A classic Campbeltown single malt: this Glen Scotia 15 Year Old boasts flavours of vanilla oak, subtle sea spray and spicy aromatic fruits. Burns' first love, Mary Campbell - aka 'Highland Mary' - was based in Campbeltown which resulted in Burns writing "Will ye go to the Indies my Mary, and leave auld Scotia's shore?” for her. He had proposed a possible future in Jamaica with her, before they were parted by her passing.
Glenkinchie 12 Year Old
Glenkinchie is known as 'The Edinburgh Malt', as its serene distillery is located just twenty miles from the hustle and bustle of the capital. The light, fresh and floral whisky is a brilliant example of a Lowland expression. Edinburgh is the place where Burns found fans and fame, after travelling from his home in Ayrshire to publish his works in the big city. To this day, marks that he left on the city can be seen by the hundreds of thousands of tourists that make the journey to Edinburgh: from Burns monument to the Writers Museum.
Lochlea Our Barley
Based in the heart of Burns Country, Lochlea distillery opened in 2018 on the very farm that Rabbie Burns lived and worked on from 1777 to 1784. Our Barley is their first core single malt expression, which is made using barley grown on their own farmland. You can expect classically Lowland flavours from this lovely dram, such as baked rye bread, macadamia nuts, fresh cut grass and black pepper.
Arran 10 Year Old
Arran 10 year old captures the fresh and unique island style of the western isle's eponymous distillery, located just across the water from Robert Burn's birthplace. Rich vanilla sweetness gives way to cinnamon on the nose, the soft and sweet texture taking on a spicy edge. The palate is sweet with apple and citrus against a background of oak. A perfect accompaniment to a dessert or cheese board.
Explore the full selection, here.