Burns night

10 Scotch whiskies to try on Burns Night

Burns Night always feels like a particularly well-timed celebration. Hot on the heels of ‘Blue Monday’ – supposedly the most miserable day of the year – it’s certainly nice to have a reason to get merry. It also happens to be the perfect refutation to those killjoys determined to make Dry January the new Lent.  ‘O thou, my muse! guid auld Scotch drink!’ So wrote Robert Burns in the winter of 1785 in his ode ‘Scotch Drink’. The Scottish bard’s love of the stuff is no surprise and no Burns Night celebration is complete without a few drams. Terroir matters – from peaty Islay to spicy Speyside malts; sweeter Highland to softer

The best cocktails for Burns Night

Tomorrow evening, fans of whisky, poetry and sheep offal will come together to celebrate the birthday of the great Robert Burns. In the dog days of January there are few pleasures as great as demolishing a plate of haggis while trying to twist your tongue around Burns’s immortal verse. No Burns supper is complete without a few drams to raise in tribute. However, you need not feel constrained to drink your Scotch only neat or with plain water. These cocktails are intended to show the range and versatility of Scotch whisky. There’s also a gin number thrown in for good measure in case your guests prefer to raise a glass

How to drink whisky

Aside from Icelandic whale testicle beer and Korean wine made from baby mice, there are probably few drinks which the observation ‘It’s an acquired taste’ is more applicable to than whisky. And with Burns night upon us, you can rest assured that there will be plenty of people who are already dreading the moment when the time comes to raise a glass in honour of Robert Burns, the 18th century ‘heaven-taught ploughman-poet’ whose birthday will be celebrated around the world on the night of January 25 with haggis, neeps – and, yes, whisky. Lots of whisky. As with oysters, cigars, cold water swimming and cryptocurrency, whisky is something which many

What to drink on Burns Night

The Burns Supper is not so much a dinner as it is a celebration of Scotland’s great contributions to poetry, distilling, and sausage making. Even though this year’s celebrations are set to be smaller scale than usual, the 25th of January still represents an opportunity to defy the winter gloom and raise a few glasses of guid auld Scotch drink. A dram or two, taken neat or with water, is traditional for toasting – but this is by no means the only way to enjoy your whisky on Burns night.  Scotch represents a broader range of styles and flavours than any other spirit and as such has enormous cocktail potential.

A magnificent malt worthy of Burns

The bleak midwinter. Actually, since I wallowed in curmudgeonly complaints about dreich days, everything has improved. Clear blue skies, pleasing sunsets: perfect shooting weather. It is cold, admittedly, but that holds no terrors for those of us well insulated. The rest can wrap up. At least pro tem, we have moved to midwinter spring. In that spirit, over a pre-Burns supper, a few merry gentlemen were discussing humorous verse. Which is the funniest poem in English? A million years ago, when I was slogging through ‘The Knight’s Tale’, a school-fellow alerted the class to ‘The Miller’s Tale’, which follows on (not to be confused with English batsmen). Chaucer obviously felt