Robbie Burns Night Beckons; New Japanese Whiskey Ideas

Robbie Burns

We’ve heard of St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo. Some literature lovers know Bloomsday. But how about a day combining the love of literature with the love of liquor?

Burns Day is just the ticket to cure those winter blahs. Celebrated in Scotland each year on Jan. 25 in commemoration of the poet Robert Burns’s birth, Burns Day often features a Burns Supper including cullen skink, haggis, and, for dessert, a Clootie samosa. These are foods, all of them.

Burns, who composed Auld Lang Syne—the song everyone things they should sing on New Year’s Eve but no one knows all the words—also holds the honour of being as important to Scottish poetry as Shakespeare is to England.

A sample:

My Luve is like a Red Red Rose

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose,
That’s newly sprung in June:
O my Luve’s like the melodie,
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!
And fare-thee-weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ ’twere ten thousand mile!


But let’s be honest: We’re here for the booze.

If by chance you don’t want some Scotch whisky for this most joyous event, the Independent has you covered with a list of international alternatives.

For example:


Hibiki Japanese Harmony: £53.99, an offering from a 90-year-old distillery. Described as a blend of “malt and grain whiskies—which is aged in white oak and American bourbon barrels, respectively” is smooth and complex.


Mackmyra Bruks Single Malt Whisky: £39.99, from Sweden, a single malt made “with great care; each batch’s origin can be traced down to the individual barley field. It’s aged in bourbon casks, giving it a gentle, fruity tone.”


For something a little more local, try Buffalo Trace. “You could set your watch by this bourbon, so dependable is it. Made from a combination of Kentucky and Indiana corn, it is aged for eight years in the barrel. The result is a soft, creamy drink that dances citrus and oak pirouettes across your tongue. Little wonder it won a Silver Outstanding Medal at the International Wine and Spirits Competition.”

Thirsty for more? Read on.



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