Synonymous with the world’s greatest poets, Robert Burns is Scotland's national bard. Every year, on 25th January, the nation pays tribute to Rabbie, hosting Burns Night suppers to commemorate his birthday.
The first Burns supper was held over 200 years ago, back in 1801. In the years since, while new traditions have been added, the overall sentiment remains the same: to pay tribute to Scotland’s national poet.
Recent lockdowns and restrictions have prevented many restaurants and bars from making the most of the opportunity, but PC (pre-covid) Burns Night celebrations were enjoying increasing popularity.
IWSC Spirits Judge, and author of The Philosophy of Whisky Billy Abbott comments: “The past couple of years have definitely stomped on the slow rise of Burns Night celebrations in the on-trade, however it was a thing before and I’m sure it will be again.”
He adds: “While Burns Suppers are often quite prescriptive about the food – with a handful of potential starters and desserts in addition to the ever-present haggis – accompanying drinks are left a little more to the discretion of the hosts. This gives bars and restaurants a chance to show off not only their whisky knowledge and range, but also their teams’ skill at pairing them with each dish – the whisky doesn’t only have to be good, it also has to be the right one.”
Focussing on our recent Scotch Trophy winners, Billy has matched them to courses from traditional Burns Night menu. Further details of each of our trophy winners can be viewed below alongside the judges comments. Slàinte!