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The Whisky Exchange “The Perfect Burns Night Dinner” – Guid Auld Scotch Drink” – Scotch Whisky News


The Perfect Burns Night Dinner – Guid Auld Scotch Drink

At the end of the month is one of the biggest dates in the Scottish calendar. When it comes to excuses for a party, at least. Less than a month after Hogmanay and it’s time for another night of celebration – 25 January is Burns Night.

Who was Robert Burns?

For those who don’t know the work of Robert Burns, he was a Scottish writer, who was born on 25 January 1759 – hence the date of Burns Night – and died in 1796. In his time he was a not only a writer and poet, but also a farmer and an exciseman, working a beat in the lowlands that included checking up on at least Annandale distillery.

He is one of the most influential writers in Scottish history, and his influence is still felt today. In honour of his life, his birthday has now become a day of celebration, with Burns Suppers and parties popping up around the world.

Sowing the seeds of Burns

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m a bit of a fan of Burns and his poetry, with the seeds sown at my first Burns Supper at The Whisky Exchange in Vinopolis. Franchi Ferla of Simply Whisky stalked the floor while telling the tale of Tam o’ Shanter – still one of my favourite Burns poems – and I was a convert.


Simply Whisky do Burns Night – If you see these two at the front of a Burns Supper, you’re in for a treat

Since then, I’ve expanded on my Burns Night obsession each year, with posts on food and beer ideas, ginny alternatives to whisky, a spot of poetry and keeping things more traditional. Strangely, the one thing I’ve not looked into is what whisky to drink with your Burns Supper.

A traditional Burns Supper can take many different forms – there have been suppers for more than 200 years and things have changed a lot over that time. However, here’s a skeleton of how things usually go and what we’d recommend – feel free to add bagpipers and as many courses as you like.

Before Dinner


As an opening dram of the evening, we’d go for something lighter and more aperitif-like. To keep with the Burns theme, we’ve chosen Arran Robert Burns Single Malt, the ‘official’ Robert Burns whisky. We’re not entirely sure what makes it official, but it’s the perfect start to an evening of whisky, food and poetry.

Some hae meat an canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.
– The Selkirk Grace, the traditional opening to dinner


The Soup

Some like a Scotch Broth, some a Cullen Skink, but if I’m about to chow down on a hearty main course, then Cock-a-leekie is the soup I want to start with. As the name suggests, it’s a chicken and leek soup, traditionally with prunes in the mix. I like the recipe on GreatBritishChefs from Graeme Taylor of A Scots Larder – it’s a bit more substantial than some, has carrots for extra sweetness and has the prunes cooked in from the beginning rather than used just as a garnish.

On thee aft Scotland chows her cood,
In souple scones, the wale o’food!
Or tumblin in the boiling flood

Wi’ kail an’ beef;
– Scotch Drink. Burns liked a bit of beef and cabbage soup

To go with the soup, we’d go for something lighter and sweeter, although with enough weight not to get lost – something that will pair rather than contrast with the homely, comfort-food character of chicken soup. We’ve chosen Bruichladdich Islay Barley. It’s buttery and creamy, like most Bruichladdichs, with a touch of grain sweetness. Our second choice is Glen Grant 18 Year Old. More delicate than the Bruichladdich, it’s got more sweetness and a touch of dried fruit richness hiding at the back – just the thing to pair with a prune-tinged Cock-a-leekie.


The Haggis

The arrival of the haggis is the centrepiece of a Burns Supper. Cooked in whatever manner you wish (I like to wrap mine in foil and roast it), it should be brought in whole and presented to the assembled throng. It’s at this point that the most famous bit of dinner poetry is read – Address to a Haggis. This is the important bit:

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

That means it’s slicey-slicey time. Cut open the Haggis and make sure it gets served quickly: haggis is at its best when hot. It’s usually served with neeps and tatties – mashed turnips and potatoes – and a sauce that often has a bit of whisky in. Just make sure you don’t pour whisky over the haggis: it’s not a Christmas pudding.

With the simple application of heat, a magical transformation occurs – warm-reekin, rich!

To go with the main course, you need something a bit more robust – haggis is a peppery beast, with strong flavours throughout, and the neeps and tatties normally have more than their fair share of butter. Our first pick is our Whisky-Exchange-exclusive Glenfarclas 2007 Marriage of Casks. It’s rich, spicy and very sherried, without getting too heavy – it won’t be cowed by a weighty haggis. And as an alternative, something a bit smoky: Talisker 2007 Distillers Edition – it’s got the classic salt, pepper and smoke Talisker character with an extra hit of richness from its amoroso finish. An excellent match.


The Dessert

Dessert often gets a bit forgotten at Burns Suppers. However, when it comes to rib-sticking puds, the Scottish know a thing or two.

If you look beyond the deep-fried Mars Bar (no matter what The Three Drinkers recommend), there’s a whole raft of options, with Clootie Dumpling sitting at the top of my puddin’ pile. However, after a hearty serving of haggis, there’s only one dessert for me: cranachan.

It’s a Scottish riff on a style of pudding that pops up wherever there is milk: cream, something sweet, something crunchy and something fruity. Eschewing the southern decadence of the Eton Mess’s meringues, cranachan is straight-down-the-line Scottish: cream, heather honey, oats and raspberries. With maybe a splash of whisky. Just a splash…

Some experimental cranachans, including a rather tasty one using gooseberries…

Matching whisky and creamy things can be difficult, but we reckon something fruity will give an extra layer of flavour. Our first fruity dram is Ben Nevis 10 Year Old. It’s got a whiff of smoke and a rich chocolate background, but it’s also packed with tropical-fruit flavour – it’ll cut through the cream and compliment the berries. Our second choice is our exclusive Glenlivet 1981 from Signatory. It’s got orchard and stone fruit in spades, and has a rich, sherry-cask backbone that’ll make sure the cranachan doesn’t take over.


After Dinner

Once the eating has finally finished, it’s time for some more whisky, and a bit of a sing-song. Arguably Burns’ most famous poem is one that people around the world sing without realising it’s one of his: Auld Laing Syne. It’s not all his own work, but he added some verses to an old folk song, and it’s thanks to him that it’s spread as far as it has.

While it’s best known as a new year song, it’s also traditionally sung at the end of a Burns Supper. It’s a song about remembering friendship and times past – the perfect end to the evening.

If you’re singing, you need a drink in your hand, and we’d go for something big and special. Our first choice is the Whisky-Exchange-exclusive Speyside 1973 bottled by The Whisky Agency. It’s packed with tropical and dried fruit, with the fruity spirit amplified by maturation in a sherry cask – we think it might have been a fino cask. Our second choice is even bigger and more sherried – our exclusive Edradour 2005 oloroso sherry cask. It’s a sherry monster, with loads of dried fruit and spice, just the thing for toasting the end of the perfect Burns Supper.

Scotch Drink

Whatever you do this Burns Night, make sure you raise a dram to the Ploughman Poet – as if we need an excuse to drink some guid auld scotch drink.

O thou, my muse!
guid auld Scotch drink!
Whether thro’ wimplin worms thou jink,
Or, richly brown, ream owre the brink,
In glorious faem,
Inspire me, till I lisp an’ wink,
To sing thy name!
Scotch Drink, my favourite Burns poem

Burns Night at the Park Avenue Liquor Shop – Scotch Whisky News


Help us celebrate 

‘Burns Night’  

the way it was intended…

By drinking Single Malt Scotch!

It’s like a birthday party ~

without the birthday boy!

‘Burns Night’ is Friday, January 25th.  If you have no plans, want to know what that’s all about or just want to sample some phenomenal single malt scotch ~ you’re invited.

Park Ave – After Hours is celebrating this controversial yet somehow beloved Scotsman.

Four single malts from four different distilleries will be poured and there won’t be a haggis in sight!

We know this is short notice but these events tend to fill-up so please RSVP- ASAP.

Details are below. 

Jonathan, Eric & Marlon
The Park Avenue Liquor Shop
270 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016

PA1 These event fill up so please RSVP – ASAP. We are not responsible for any typographical errors nor do we endorse the life and times of Robert Burns. Please contact the store with any questions.

The Park Avenue Liquor Shop | 212-685-2442 | 212-689-6247 | parkaveliquor.com

Park Ave

Scotch Malt Whisky Society of Canada January 2019 Outturn – Scotch Whisky News

SMWS Jan19

CASK NO. 135.4
CASK: 2nd fill barrel
AGE: 17 years
FLAVOUR PROFILE: Sweet, fruity & mellow

CASK NO. 70.26
CASK: Refill barrel
AGE: 9 years
FLAVOUR PROFILE: Young & spritely

CASK NO: 9.134
CASK: Refill barrel
AGE: 11 years
FLAVOUR PROFILE: Juicy, oak & vanilla

CASK NO: 46.57
CASK: Refill hogshead
AGE: 24 years

First release from distillery 68 for SMWS Canada
CASK NO: 68.12
CASK: Re-charred hogshead
AGE: 8 years
FLAVOUR PROFILE: Deep, rich & dried fruits

CASK NO: 93.90
CASK: Refill hogshead
AGE: 16 years
FLAVOUR PROFILE: Lightly peated

CASK NO: 53.250
CASK: Refill hogshead
AGE: 11 years
FLAVOUR PROFILE: Lightly peated

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society Canada
Suite 160
104 – 1240 Kensington Road NW
Calgary, AB  T2N 3P7

Great Whiskies for Burns Night at The Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News

TWB Burns

Great Whiskies for Burns Night

We’ve selected some super single malts, that would be perfect for any Burns Supper. From Bruichladdich to Caol Ila; and Ben Nevis to Benrinnes. Burns Night on the 25th January each year marks the birth in 1759 of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns. It is a celebration of the life and works of ‘Rabbie’ and traditionally sees a Burns supper enjoyed with Scottish Haggis and a Scotch Whisky. Here we have 25 of our top picks of Scotch Whisky (and a Rabbie’s Rum) for celebrating Burns Night. “Freedom an’ whisky gang thegither”

Whether you’re having a quiet night at home or a proper Scottish ceilidh, we’ve got some excellent Exclusives to suggest for Burns Night.

TWB 337

The Return of the Whisky Mafia! – Whisky News



“Where oh where has Pat Dunlop from thewhiskymafia.com gone?! What could explain his absence from the blogosphere? Has he once again fled the country? Has he given up on whisky? Is there a cake involved? The answers to these, and other questions, can be found in a thrilling new post entitled 5 Things TheWhiskymafia Has Been Up To. To continue the thrilling adventures of this always mysterious, enthralling and entertaining whisky blogger, you’ll need to click here.


Jameson Irish Whiskey_zpshircqik2 (1)



- First introduced in 1968, the new smooth pack contains the same triple-distilled Jameson that has made it the world’s No.1 Irish whiskey – 

Jameson Irish Whiskey, which is produced by Irish Distillers in Midleton Distillery, has unveiled an evolution of its iconic bottle and label design 50 years after it was first introduced. The refreshed look highlights the brand’s provenance, triple-distillation production method and premium quality cues to whiskey drinkers as it looks to strengthen its position as the world’s leading Irish whiskey.

Created by Stockholm’s Pond Design agency, the designs introduce a bold visual identity that has stand-out appeal and further drives differentiation in the dynamic Irish whiskey category. The bottle shape now features a tapered body and a more generous shoulder curve, while a distinctive embossed label ‘eyebrow’ and heel at the base make the bottle more tactile and memorable to hold. The distinctive green glass bottle and easy-to-pour neck remain in place, in line with feedback from market research among bartenders and Irish whiskey drinkers.

The refreshed label is printed on textured paper and reinterprets key elements of the design – most notably the Jameson family crest – while still retaining the most recognisable features to create a more timeless and cohesive look. Messaging on the bottle has been streamlined to emphasise the triple-distilled production method of Jameson, which crafts its renowned smooth taste, and its Irish provenance. The update is underpinned by a more vibrant colour palette designed to stand out and includes a brighter red cap and fresher greens and creams on the label.

The iconic green Jameson bottle that is known around the world today was first introduced in 1968, when bottling was brought in-house at the Bow Street Distillery as the era of whiskey bonding came to an end. The signature green, cream and maroon colours were inspired by the stained-glass panels in the doors of the historic distillery, installed in the late 19th Century by then Production Manager George Jameson, and can still be viewed at the Jameson Distillery Bow street today. Over the past 50 years, the bottle has evolved with the times but key elements such as the green glass, family crest and ship have remained in place to inspire new whiskey drinkers with the Jameson story.

The bottle is constructed using pressure sensitive label (PSL) technology at Irish Distillers’ Fox & Geese bottling facility in Dublin – a new and more efficient process that allows for split labels to be applied to the glass bottles and a more premium finish. The new Jameson Irish Whiskey bottles will be available in Ireland from January 2019, and from the USA and other markets from March ahead of St. Patrick’s Day, and will be introduced across Jameson Caskmates, Jameson Black Barrel and Jameson Crested throughout the year.

Simon Fay, International Marketing Director for Jameson at Irish Distillers, commented: “Jameson Irish Whiskey is the world’s favourite Irish whiskey and is leading the renaissance within the category that we have seen over the past ten years. As such, we are committed to investing in the brand and we are confident that our new smooth pack, with the same triple distilled Irish whiskey inside is the winning combination to drive distinctiveness and relevance with whiskey drinkers and bartenders. With 29 years of consecutive of growth, our mission is to maintain momentum in key markets and accelerate growth and we believe that the subtle design evolution will help us to share the fearless spirit of Jameson with even more people around the world and continue the success story for many years to come.”


About Irish Distillers

Irish Distillers is Ireland’s leading supplier of spirits and wines and producer of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys. Led by Jameson, our brands are driving the global renaissance of Irish whiskey. Jameson is the world’s fastest-growing Irish whiskey, experiencing 29 years of consecutive growth and hitting sales of 7.3m cases in 2018. Our brands are exported to 130+ markets, with over 80 of those experiencing double- or triple-digit growth.

Irish Distillers was formed in 1966, when a merger took place between John Power & Son, John Jameson & Son and Cork Distilleries Company. In 1988 Irish Distillers joined Pernod Ricard, gaining access to unprecedented levels of investment and an extensive global distribution network. Since 2012, we have invested over €250m to double our production and bottling capacity to meet global demand for our products.

We employ over 600 people across our operations in Cork and Dublin. 

About Pernod Ricard

Pernod Ricard is the world’s n°2 in wines and spirits with consolidated Sales of €8,987 million in FY18. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin&Sprit (2008). Pernod Ricard holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector: Absolut Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Malibu liqueur, Mumm and Perrier-Jouët champagnes, as well Jacob’s Creek, Brancott Estate, Campo Viejo and Kenwood wines. Pernod Ricard employs a workforce of approximately 18,900 people and operates through a decentralised organisation, with 6 “Brand Companies” and 86 “Market Companies” established in each key market. Pernod Ricard is strongly committed to a sustainable development policy and encourages responsible consumption. Pernod Ricard’s strategy and ambition are based on 3 key values that guide its expansion: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust and a strong sense of ethics.

Pernod Ricard is listed on Euronext (Ticker: RI; ISIN code: FR0000120693) and is part of the CAC 40 index.

The 2018 Whisky Raids “How did that happen?” – Whisky Confiscation News



Another year? How did that happen? 

It’s been nearly 1 year since The Great Whisky Raid of 2018, not much has happened lately but we are trying to work with the government to find a solution to the unlawful seizure of 242 bottles of some of the rarest whisky on earth and to see a policy change whereby bars and restaurants are able to source product from private retailers.

“Bars or Restaurants that specialize in exotic products that they can’t get through the public wholesaler should be able to access that kind of product legally”  David Eby, Attorney General, January 2018. But still no change.

We stand by our concerns surrounding the raid:

1: The manner in which the raid and seizure was handled: we feel that the government agents breached the Canadian Charter and were required to produce a seizure warrant as they seized the whisky “as evidence in an on going investigation”

2: Why the government refuses to allow licensees to purchase products from private retailers.

Last year industry lawyer Mark Hicken was called upon to review BC’s archaic liquor laws and through him, the review panel and submissions from industry stakeholders, of which we made 2 submissions. The final report containing 24 recommendations was handed to Attorney General David Eby on April 30th 2018 and has since been sitting on his desk collecting dust.

See The Report Here

Of all the recommendations in the report the one we have been advocating for is Licensee to Licensee sales (The Sourcing of Product, recommendation #11 on page 18 of the report). With the implementation of this recommendation we would be able to continue adding rare and wonderful whiskies to our collection including the fabulous whiskies from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

#11 The Sourcing of Product:”Hospitality licensees should not be restricted to buying their liquor products from government retail stores. Such licensees should be able to buy from any licensed source in BC including private retailers. In this way, hospitality licensees will have alternative sources for products where the wholesale system minimums are not met. An appropriate reporting mechanism should be established for such sales in order to ensure that the data relating to sales in this channel is not lost.”

To help out there is a petition on line: Free The Whisky

Here are a few links if you’d like to read further: 

Scotch Whisky Magazine          Forbes          Scout Magazine

The Georgia Straight           Vancouver is Awesome          Global News

CBC           The Globe and Mail          CTV

We still have the largest whisky selection in the country and have nearly a 1000 whiskies on our shelves.

The monthly Hand Crafted Spirits Radio Show with Joe Leary and Darryl Lamb is still being hosted at The Kitchen. Tune in to TSN Radio 1410 at noon on the first Saturday of each month. you can click here to listen to past broadcasts

Our Partner Scotch Malt Whisky Society retailer is Legacy Liquor Store in the Olympic Village and host to our monthly Society Outturns on the first Tuesday and Thursday of the month. Allura and I present on the Tuesday




Friday 25 January

Limited Spaces. Tickets on sale now.


Glen Grant Master Distiller  Sir Dennis Malcolm, Whisky Bible author Jim Murray and a selection of their favourite drams – what more could you wish for this Burns Night?

Let Dennis Malcolm, the man behind the liquid, guide you through six of Glen Grant’s esteemed expressions. He’ll be joined by top whisky writer Jim Murray, who has awarded Glen Grant 18 Year Old the title of Scotch Whisky of the Year in his best-selling, annual Whisky Bible for the past three years.

We will end the evening with a Q&A session and a book signing.

“Once more the stunning Glen Grant 18 Year Old single malt carried the banner for Scotland, displaying Speyside Whisky in its most sparkling light.” – Jim Murray


Glen Grant 10 Year Old
Glen Grant 12 Year Old
Glen Grant 18 Year Old
Whisky Bible 2019 ‘Second Finest Whisky in the World’
Whisky Bible 2017-2019 ‘Scotch Whisky of the Year’
Glen Grant 12 Year Old Non Chill Filtered
Glen Grant 170th Anniversary Limited Edition
Special Mystery Dram



Dennis Malcolm is the multi-award winning Glen Grant master distiller and the curator of the distillery’s spirit. He has worked for Glen Grant for more than five decades, and has an unrivalled knowledge of the industry.



Jim Murray was one of the first full-time whisky writers and his Whisky Bible is the world’s biggest-selling and most influential annual whisky guide.



“O thou, my muse! Guid auld Scotch drink!” – Robert Burns





LAPHROAIG 8 YEAR OLD 2010 STRICTLY LIMITED EXCLUSIVE at the Whisky Barrel – Scotch Whisky News


8 Year Old 2008


Laphroaig 8 Year Old 2010 vintage Islay single malt Scotch whisky. Single cask hogshead selected and bottled at cask strength October 2018 by Morrison & MacKay exclusively for The Whisky Barrel. 284 bottles. Laphroaig Distillery was established in 1815 on the rocky south coast of the Isle of Islay off the west coast of Scotland. This malt whiskey distillery continues to malt barley using its traditional malting floors and malt kiln. In 1994 the distiiley was awarded the Royal Warrant. The core range is quite extensive and supplemented by limited releases including a 21 year old was issued in 2015 to celebrate 21 years of Friends of Laphroaig. Independent bottlings are also available from Signatory, Cooper’s Choice and Hunter Laing. Laphroaig distillery also participates in Feis Ile, the Islay Festival of Malt and Music.

TWB 337

Whisky Sale at the Whisky Shop #SFO – Scotch Whisky News

AA Arran Burns

Robert Burns Whisky Sale

In celebration of Burns Night (Jan. 25th)

our Robert Burns single malt is 10% off!

The only single malt endorsed by The World Robert Burns Federation, Arran Distillery’s Robert Burns whisky is a crisp, fruity dram with a free tasting glass included in the price.

Limited number available! Click here for more details and Purchase link


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