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Published on January 25, 2023.

Time for Burns Night

Haggis and Whisky… doesn’t get much better.

Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns, is known all over the world for his passion for his country and culture, being an ambassador by writing poems and songs celebrating his Scottish heritage. However, one of his true loves was Scotch whisky which reflected within his writing. In political poems, such as The Author’s Earnest Cry and Prayer, he references the joys of ‘John Barleycorn’ which was his personification of whisky, and a common thread running through his lighter poetry as well.

The annual celebration of Burns night is held on Robert Burns’ birthday on 25th January and has become a national celebration with bagpipes and kilts. However, it is also a celebration of scotch whisky; therefore, choosing the ‘right’ dram is an important decision. If you’re looking for an accompaniment to the classic heaviness of haggis, neeps and tatties, you might want something powerful enough to stand up to all those rich flavours. Robert Burns was, however, the champion of free thinking – so the rules are definitely made to be broken on this occasion.


Another tradition for Burns Night is a big serving of Cranachan, a simple dessert served after a hearty dinner of haggis and tatties. With the added whisky, it gives a warming punch to this light dessert, which is perfect for a cold January evening.

To make Cranachan, firstly toast 75g oats. You can do this in a pan on the hob or in the oven. Put the oats in a dry pan or spread them out on a tray to go under the grill. There will be a nutty sort of smell when they’re ready. Keep checking them continuously so they don’t burn! Put in a bowl and set aside to cool. Crush 250g raspberries in a bowl and set aside, saving a few whole ones for a garnish. Whip 350ml double cream to stiff peaks. Add 4 tbsp whisky and 2 tbsp honey. Start with a smaller amount and you can always add more to taste. Mix the cooled oats through the cream, saving a little for garnish.

Use glasses (or bowls) and start to layer the raspberry and cream mixture, ending with cream on top. Sprinkle the rest of the oats over the top of the last layer of cream and add a few fresh raspberries for garnish. Eat it right away or put it in the fridge for later. The oats will soften a little if left in the fridge. This recipe is ideal for four servings.

Matured in ex-bourbon barrels, Spearhead is finished in a unique combination of infrared toasted and fire toasted virgin american oak barrels. Spearhead work closely with a cooperage in Kentucky to produce toast levels that are just right – the result is a sweeter, lighter, more mixable whisky.

Matured in a combination of second-fill European & American oak casks, layers of rich fruit & peat smoke on the palate.

Johnnie Walker Black Label’s iconic square bottle makes it one of the world’s most recognisable Scotch whiskies – and it’s also one of whisky critic Jim Murray’s favourite blends: ‘If there is a silkier delivery on the market today, I have not seen it: this is sublime stuff…one of the world’s most masterful whiskies back in all its complex glory

Fresh, herbal aromas of pear, cracked black pepper, pine needles, vanilla and honey-glazed ham mingle on the nose with aniseed, green apple, leather and coffee. The palate offers notes of dark chocolate, hot tar, smoked bacon, aniseed and eucalyptus that liner in the finish.

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About the author

Chloe Lewis

Chloe looks after all copywriting and proof-reading for Drink Warehouse UK, working with the Marketing team to deliver educational content to all our customers. She has spent many years in the hospitality sector, moving from behind the bar to now helping venues to stock their own. You can find more from Chloe about beer, cider, spirits, wine, non-alcoholic, soft drinks and RTDs all over our blogs, website, social media and Set The Bar magazine. 

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