“The whisky of this country is a most rascally liquor,” wrote Robert Burns, the Scottish poet after whom January 25 is named. “And, by consequence, only drank by the most rascally part of the inhabitants.”
So, if you’re feeling particularly rascally this coming Wednesday, it’s time to invest in a boutique bottle of the best the Scottish have to offer. But what spirits will ensure you have the most spirited night?
Macallan 30 Year Old Batch 7
A legend of Speyside – Macallan. Massively popular and always in constant demand, Macallan have a sizeable distillery capable of producing over 10 million litres of alcohol a year, and there’s plans to increase even further.
With this 30-year old tipple, expect Victoria sponge cake and rich Christmas pudding on the nose, with hints of mint, evaporated milk and muscovado sugar. The palate offers tremendous rich oak and dark chocolate with balancing sugars and hints of ginger, and all is topped off by a finished of toasted gingerbread mixed nuts and echoes of dark fruit.
Blended Whisky #1 35 Year Old
Named ‘World’s Best Blended Whisky’ at the World Whiskies Award 2015, this really is a cracking blended whisky from That Boutique-y Whisky Company. You will nose notes of chocolate fudge with touches of jam or raspberry ripple.
A little peppery, but wonderfully round, the palate brings yet more chocolate, with measured fruit, caramel, treacle and tobacco too. This is a very complex whisky, and a finish of Tiramisu and Mississippi mud pie is perfect to contemplate over some of Burns’ more thoughtful poems.
Blended Whisky #2 18 Year Old
Not content with following the traditional, That Boutique-y Whisky Company are also determined to bring Scotch whisky, kicking and screaming, into the 21st Century. This spirit is severely alternative, but remains unapologetically Scottish – so may be just for you if you’re looking to mix things up this Burns’ Night.
Heather, honey, green tea and lemon pith are found on the nose, with plum, pineapple and – oddly – bubblegum developing later on. An oily malt, with vanilla and caramel is found with the initial tasting, and Sandalwood and soft citrus swirl through this Scotch also. To finish? Melon, peanut brittle and rye grain – not quintessentially Scottish, but delicious nonetheless.
The Half Century Blend
Only whiskies aged for over 50 years were used to create this astonishing blend. Proving that patience has its rewards, the slow-maturing whiskies contained in The Half-Century Blend were produced in an era where flavour – not forecasts – ruled the roost.
The result? Flavour, subtlety, poise, an incredible depth of fruit-character and a beguiling, ethereal quality sadly missing from many of today’s whiskies. Just 768 bottles were produced in this first batch – so a bottle would add exclusivity to your Burns’ Night proceedings.
The Lost Distilleries Blend Batch 8
It is no secret amongst whisky-lovers that some of the greatest and most admired distilleries in Scotland are those that have sadly closed over the years. Be these closures due to economic circumstance, lack of demand, or just bad fortune, many of the whiskies left behind have attained iconic, near-mythical status amongst the whisky cognoscenti.
The ‘Lost Distilleries Blend’ is a stunning blended whisky has been created solely from whiskies taken from these once great, now silent distilleries. Batch 8 is a limited release of 668 bottles crafted using malts from Caperdonich, Rosebank, Imperial, Mosstowie, Glen Mhor, Glenisla, Glenlochy, Port Ellen and Brora, along with grain whisky from Port Dundas. The perfect dram to celebrate days gone by.
Regions of Scotland Tasting Set
Burns’ Night is the perfect time to expand your knowledge of Scotch, or introduce others to the joys of whisky – which is why this tasting set from Drinks by the Dram rounds out our suggestions for the night.
From the peaty, smoky Islay; to the fruity, malty Highlands; the soft, floral Lowlands; and the honeyed, often Sherried Speyside, there are big names herein – Talisker, Glenfarclas, Dalwhinnie to name a few. Get celebrating; get sampling.