What is Burns Night? Why Should I be Drinking Scotch?

What Is Burns Night? Why Should I Be Drinking Scotch?

What exactly is special about 25th January and why is drinking Scotch so special on this day?

By Owain Brennan

Burns night, which is occasionally known as Robert Burns Day, is a celebration of the life of the poet (yes you guessed it) Robert Burns. And who exactly is Robert Burns? 

Well Robert Burns is a Scottish Poet who was born on the 25th Of January 1759 and died 21st July 1796. He was famous for writing many famous poems such as “Scots Wha Hae” which served for a long time as an unnoficial national anthem of Scotland, as well as “Auld Lang Syne” which is usually sung on the last day of the year.

Therefore Burns Night is a holiday celebrated in Scotland on Robert Burns Birthday to commemorate everything he did for Scotland culturally, this is usually celebrated this a particular supper which is served in particular fashion with accompanying poems which Robert Burns wrote throughout his life. Here is the proceedings of this event:

  1. To start – everyone gathers, the host says a few words, everyone sits and the Selkirk Grace is said.
  2. The meal – the starter is served, the haggis is piped in, the host performs Address to a Haggis, everyone toasts the haggis and the main meal is served, followed by dessert.
  3. After the meal – the first Burns recital is performed, the Immortal Memory (the main tribute speech to Burns) is given, the second Burns recital is performed, then there’s a Toast to the Lassies, followed by a Reply to the Toast to the Lassies, before the final Burns recital is performed.
  4. To end the night – the host gives a vote of thanks, everyone stands and sings Auld Lang Syne, crossing their arms and joining hands at the line ‘And there’s a hand, my trusty fere!’.
Portrait of Robert Burns

So, now for the most important bit, the Whisky!

Well Scotch Whisky to be precise. The reason why exclusively Scotch is drank on this night is not hard to work out with Robert Burns being a Scottish man him self and his being a Scottish holiday. Of course Scotch Whisky is a fantastic way to celebrate the man!

Although that leaves the question of which Scotch should I choose? Well good job I have collected some information to help you decide!

Robert Burns was born in the town of Alloway which is in the Scotch whisky region referred to as the Lowlands. These whiskies are known for their malt character with a soft body with little to no peat due to where the Lowlands are located. 

Here are some of the Scotch Lowland Selection which we will be drinking on January 25th:

1. 808

808 is a Lowland Whisky produced in Edinburgh and although it is in the Lowlands, instead of having the malty flavour of the region this whisky opts for a grain base which they refer to as “A refreshing change from the heavier malts a lot of people attribute to Whisky”

This whisky is a good introduction to whisky as it is very soft as has subtle hints of honey, chocolate and vanilla.



808 Scotch Whiskey

2. Haig Club

Haig Club is the Scotch currently owned and ran by non other than David Beckham, this Whisky is again a grain whisky and is produced in he oldest single grain distillery in Scotland 

The tasting notes for this whisky describe it to be very sweet with Icing sugar and coconut creamy sweetness, butterscotch, and a mouthwatering spiciness. Like a tropical fruit salad with a fresh clean balance.

David Beckham with Haig Clubman Scotch Whisky

3. Auchentoshan American Oak

Auchentoshan is a triple distilled whisky which is solely matured in American Bourbon casks which gives the whisky a sweet aroma of vanilla and coconut along with a signature smooth, delicate, Achentoshan taste of Toasted almonds and caramelised toffee. 

Auchentoshan AMerican Oak SCOTCH whisky low land

There we have it our selection of Whisky for Burns Night! aswell as some history on the day!

And remember al of these whikies are available at Brennan’s Bar! So come on down on Burns night and show some love!

Have a Happy Burns night!

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