25th January is a significant date in any Scot’s calendar. Commemorating the anniversary of Robert Burns’ birth, Burns Night has become a global event with celebrations taking place far beyond the boundary of Hadrian’s wall. From poetry to whisky and various toasts made throughout a Burns Night supper, there is something for everyone to enjoy and partake in the festivities.
A Toast to Rabbie Burns
Born on 25th January 1759, Robert Burns is one of the country’s most revered poets. A traditional Burns Night includes a feast of haggis, neeps and tatties (swede and potatoes) and more than a few drams of whisky. Frequently, a whisky sauce is served alongside the meal and, naturally, nothing pairs better with pudding than some whisky cream! Throughout the evening are performances of Burns’ work, including Address to a Haggis as well as a speech in Burns’ honour called the Immortal Memory. Of course, there is only one beverage with which you should toast the Scottish Bard.
Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great Chieftain o’ the Puddin-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang ‘s my arm.
The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o’ need,
While thro’ your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.
His knife see Rustic-labour dight,
An’ cut ye up wi’ ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Then, horn for horn, they stretch an’ strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi’ perfect sconner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view
On sic a dinner?
Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro’ bluidy flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!
But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll make it whissle;
An’ legs, an’ arms, an’ heads will sned,
Like taps o’ thrissle.
Ye Pow’rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o’ fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ prayer,
Gie her a Haggis!
Whether you’re partial to single malt or blended, Speyside or Highlands, it should now be clear that any Burns Night is incomplete without whisky! If you’re looking for some whisky inspiration for your own Burns Night supper or simply would like a dram after dinner, browse our whisky offerings here.
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