We don’t need much of an excuse to buy a bottle of Scotch or to pour a dram. But today we are more than justified. Robert Burns, Scotland’s national bard, was born on January 25, 1759. And if you’re ever lucky enough to attend a proper Scottish dinner, no doubt someone in a kilt will recite Burns’ famous “Address to a Haggis” before taking a knife from their high-sock and carving the stuffed sheep’s stomach. (He also wrote the less nauseating “Auld Lang Syne.”) Traditionally on Burns’ birthday, Scots recite his poems, eat haggis and make toasts over glasses of fine whisky. To help get you in the party spirit, we suggest you buy one of these three single malts. You can skip the haggis.
Balvenie Madeira Cask:
Tonight’s celebration is a great opportunity to open Balvenie’s limited-edition 17-year-old ($120) whisky finished in a former Madeira cask. The exotic barrel imbues the naturally honeyed-spirit with rich dried-fruit and baking-spice notes. It’s the perfect after-dinner tipple.
Glenlivet Nadurra Triumph:
Burns would have surely approved of Glenlivet’s newest release, Nadurra Triumph 1991 ($85). The complex 18-year-old has a sweet and fruity nose (think peaches and pears) and is rich and full-bodied on the palate with plenty of American oak. It finishes with an unexpected spiciness.
Glenmorangie whiskies are delicate and elegant and, like a well-written poem, stay with you for a long time. The brand’s Astar ($80) is no exception. The Scotch is aged in expensive casks made from slow-growth American white oak, and has strong aromas of toasted almond and a real creaminess. It’s enough to inspire at least a few rhyming couplets.
For more Burns’ Night whisky recommendations check out Liquor.com’s Scotch gift guide.