On the 25th of January, all of Scotland celebrates the birth of their national poet Robert Burns (1759-1796). With good company by their sides and fine drams in their hands, they pay homage to the celebrated writer, whose ballads and poems are cherished all across the globe. Since sharing laughter, joy and warm-heartedness is what Burns Night – ‘tis the name of the annual commemoration event – is ultimately about, us whisky lovers from abroad gladly chime in with our Scottish friends, also raising a glass in honor of a great thinker and inspiring personality. In the following, I would like to introduce you to three drams that you might want to pour yourself this Wednesday, when the entire whisky world celebrates Burns Night.
Endorsed by The World Robert Burns Federation and graced by a portrait of the poet himself, the Robert Burns Scotch Whisky by Arran is an obvious pick for Burns Night. It is available as a blend and a single malt. While the former comes at 40 per cent and sells for 20 quid, the latter packs 43 per cent and costs 32 bucks. According to the official tasting notes, they are both sweet in the nose and fruity on the tongue. Toffee, apple and citrus are to be found in either version. Overall, the Robert Burns Single Malt Scotch Whisky is said to be a little more sugary and fruity, while the Robert Burns Blended Scotch Whisky comes with a bit more spice and peat.
Timorous Beastie is one of Douglas Laing’s five Remarkable Malts covering the distinct styles and tastes of Scotland’s main whisky regions: Speyside (Scallywag), Islay (Big Peat), the Islands (Rock Oyster), the Lowlands (The Epicurean) and the Highlands (Timorous Beastie). Inspired by Robert Burns’ heart-warming poem “To A Mouse”, this light and fruity blend is of countryside-ish character and superb quality. Which is not much of a surprise, given the fact that it is made from very fine Highland malts distilled at Dalmore, Glengoyne and Glen Garioch. While the regular version of the Beastie sells for 40 pounds per bottle, there are also 21- and 40-year-old expressions available. Those, of course, are more expensive and harder to get.
Ae Fond Kiss is a single cask Speyside bottling inspired by Robert Burns’ ballad of the same name. Its exquisite content comes from an unnamed distillery and has been matured in the warehouses of independent purchaser and supplier D.R. Scotch Whisky for a full 15 years. The beautiful bottle and package, on the other hand, have been designed by the talented Susan McGill, who drew the playful imagery on the label and box of the Ae Fond Kiss – Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky by hand. At GBP 120, it is not a bargain. But this whisky is done with so much love that I am sure it is worth its price. Unfortunately, it is currently only sold within the UK. So it might be a little hard to obtain for whisky fans from other countries. Yet, where there’s a will…
Needless to say, the three malts listed here do not cover all potential Burns Night drams. In the end, you have a million whiskies to choose from and as long as you raise your glass in high spirits, I am pretty sure that good ol’ Rabbie will smile down on you with content. So if you have already chosen a whisky to be enjoyed two days from now on the 25th, feel free share your plans in the comments! And if you haven’t, maybe this little blog post helped you make a decision.
Robert Burns Whisky – Official Website: http://www.robertburnswhisky.com/
Arran – Official Website: https://www.arranwhisky.com/
Douglas Laing – Official Website: https://www.douglaslaing.com/
Timorous Beastie – Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/dltimorousbeastie/
D.R. Scotch Whisky – Official Website: http://drscotchwhisky.com/
Susan McGill Designs – Official Website: http://www.susanmcgilldesigns.com/
Ae Fond Kiss Whisky – Official Website: https://www.aefondkisswhisky.com/