Burns Night. A worldwide celebration held on the 25th January every year. A celebration of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns. Being Scots ourselves, we are well accustomed to the Bard of Ayrshire and his works. The date of 25th January is a permanent fixture in the educational calendar where Scotland’s youth take to the floor to recite a poem. Where young palates have yet to develop a taste for, quite frankly delicious, haggis. Burns Night is a time to celebrate Rabbie’s life and works. A time to enjoy a meal with friends, or strangers. An excuse to dance and raise a dram. Scotch Whisky is a big feature.
Robert Burns – A Whisky Man.
Born on the 25th January 1759 in Alloway, Ayrshire on the west coast of Scotland. Robert Burns’s life saw him work as a farmer, a writer, a poet and in part the reason for his association with Scotch Whisky, an exciseman – a role with the responsibility of collecting excise duty (tax) from whisky distilleries no less. But this was not a role in which he thrived and ultimately came to dislike- reading some of his poems such as ‘The Deil’s Awa wi’ th’ Exciseman’ (The Devil has Taken the Exciseman) reveals this. Political pressures and the increasing demands for tax collection saw Scotch Whisky struggle. Illicit distilling to avoid tax was rife while a number of distilleries suffered and indeed closed. Burns worked and travelled mainly within Ayrshire, Edinburgh and Dumfries before his death in 1796 ages just 37. A short life but has left a two century long legacy.
Whisky To Toast Rabbie
Scotch whisky features in his works quite often – ‘The Author’s Earnest Cry And Prayer’ from which the line “freedom an’ whisky gang thegither” is from and the explicitly titled “Scotch Drink“. With Burns Night Suppers marking the occasion on the 25th January around the world, it is scotch whisky that is traditionally raised to toast the Bard. So, in honour of the occasion we have selected a number of fantastic Scotch Whiskies, and one cheeky rum, to suit the occasion.
We’ve chosen a couple of whiskies from Girvan Distillery, located just south of Robert Burns’ birthplace in Alloway. Recognising his time in Edinburgh, two single grain whiskies from North British Distillery. And from Dumfries, the region where Robert Burns is laid to rest, two drams from Bladnoch Distillery. And not forgetting, the last remaining bottles from our exclusive Burns Malt®, Burns Grain® and Rabbie’s Rum labels.
But if you have some spare cash kicking about, why not stump for the rather rare and decadent Macallan Robert Burns Semiquincentenary which marked his 250th birthday in 2009. OK, a lot of spare cash!