Now that Christmas is over and the turn of the year is already done, the next holiday is just around the corner. On the 25th of January it is time for Burns night. For those of you not familiar with this particular holiday, let us briefly explain the ins and outs.
When celebrating Burns ‘Night’, and thereby Burns ‘Supper’ we remember the life and poems of the well known Scottish poet Robert Burns. The first Burns Night was organized by his friends to celebrate his life and work. Since then, Burns Night is celebrated by thousands around the world annually. It actually comes down to a lot of food and ‘some’ drinks – Count us in.
The host opens the Burns Supper with saying the Selkirk Grace and the dinner starts with a lovely Scottish soup. The main course is, of course, Haggis but not before someone recites the Address to a haggis. You can already tell, this is going to be a long night. Suddenly, someone walks in with some bottles of whisky because what would a typical Scotch holiday be without the Uisge Beatha? This is getting interesting!
Led by a few toast to the Queen, the lassies and of course, the Immortal Memory the whisky flows like the Spey river. This is the part where we come in, we’ve selected a few drams which will fit right into your Burns Supper! Here we go:
Mortlach 12 years old
This Mortlach 12 years old is something you’ll definitely need on nights like this. It is a pretty decent whisky and a bit of an everyone's friend. On the other hand, it has enough depth to satisfy guests who are a bit further up their whisky journey!
Sweet and buttery, with corncob, apples, cinnamon and milk chocolate. A touch of umami with pork and beans and old man’s eau de cologne.
Apples and corn, vanilla and oak. It also has some spices and dry grass.
Gingerbread and sweet barley. Some sawdust and and cedar wood, a fresh hint of apples and a slight bitterness.
When you’re trying to impress your guests, this Octomore 12.3 might come in handy! This dram is not something you see everyday and will reside in everyone’s memory for many, many years!
A wonderful sweet, peaty and sugary nose with nicely toasted barley and some bananas. The PX sherry hint goed well with the salty hints of bacon. It’s very balanced.
Soft and sweet, with barley, salty meat, grapes, vanilla and wood. The sugary hint of bananas is also present here.
A continuation of all the goodness from the nose and palate, a whiff of salt and spareribs on hot coals.
Tomatin 2008 Rivesaltes casks 12 years old
Only a few will know this magnificent Tomatin 12 years old, matured in Rivesaltes casks and part of the French Collection. And pardon my French, what a … beautiful bottle. We believe this dram makes a perfect pair with the food consumed during Burns Supper. Enjoy!
Pretty herbal, floral and waxy on the nose, with lovely notes of rhubarb, parsnip, soaked yellow raisins and oak shavings.
The palate is soft, oily and slightly salty and earthy, with sweet hints of barley, rhubarb and hazelnuts.
Spicy wood, a hint of meat and herbal waves, but there’s also some fresh hints of champagne, lemon pie and vanilla ice cream. There’s a taste of chocolate coated peanuts that remains. Wonderful!
Sometimes you need a bit of a punch to keep the party going, the Mac-Talla Mara is a sublime candidate for that. This dram can give you the power to deliver a breathtaking speech so you might reconsider pouring this dram before you step on somebody’s toes!
Complex, meaty and sweet, with honey, pineapple, kiwi and rose hip. BBQ-sauce and chorizo, quite herbal too, with notes of onion and garlic. Nice warming smoked wood, aniseed and buttered toast.
The palate is exploding, after the first dry and salty alcohol bite, we get lots of oil, with tropical fruits and smoked meat, a nice sour hint of lemon and Napoleon sweets.
The finish is just as savoury as the nose, with salted meat. Some sweet hints of grapes and tropical fruits, but fresh and maritime as well. Motor oil and gasoline, sweet smoke and struck matches betray a true Islay character.
Douglas Laing’s Timorous Beastie
Good old Robert Burns once wrote a poem to a mouse, this Timorous Beastie to be precisely. This dram had to make the list! Small but brave, this little creature. It really takes your Burns Night to a higher level if you pour this whisky while reciting ‘To a Mouse’.
A bit sweaty on the nose, bananas and earthy notes. Anice, a grassy touch and fresh like new make. Acrylic resin, (young) orchard fruits and some ham chunks.
Potatoes, nice oaky flavours and orchard fruits. Some new make is definitely in there as well, in a good way though.
A drying finish and the palate lingers on. Aniseed, rice cakes and pear. Oaky, grassy and earthy notes are topping it off.
We strongly believe that you can’t go wrong if you pick any (or all, who are we to judge?) of the whiskies above for you to celebrate Burns Night with. Some pretty decent and a few extraordinary drams to surprise your guests and make this year’s an Immortal Memory.