Best Scotch Whisky For Burns Night 2019, Recommended By Experts

Enjoy haggis, washed down with the good stuff 🥃

Burns Night is a celebration of the life and work of legendary Scottish poet Robert Burns.

Scots (and increasing numbers of non-Scots) spend 25 January enjoying a Burns supper, eating traditional food such as haggis, neep and tatties – washed down, of course, with whisky.

For those thinking of throwing their own celebration, we asked alcohol buyers (where do I apply?) to recommend their favourite whisky spirits for Burns Night.

MakiEni's photo via Getty Images

For The Traditionalist

If you’re after something traditional, Daniel Humphrey, founder of The Summerton Club, recommends Old Pulteney 12.

“Old Pulteney is a great example of a traditional Scotch distillery – having started producing in 1826, it crafts a beautiful and consistent drink that evolves amazingly as it ages,” he says. “Old Pulteney 12 is a great drop that doesn’t break the bank, offering everyone the chance to drink something delicious to celebrate Burns Night.”

Price: £32.99

Buy it here.

A Modern(Ish) Touch

The last few years have seen a reinvigoration of the Scotch whisky industry, with a number of new distilleries being established, explains Humphrey.

“The Isle of Arran Distillers are one of the first from the new wave,” he says. “They laid their initial barrels in 1995 on the north west of the island, where it benefits from mountain water cleaned through red granite and softened by the peat rich mountain slopes, to give its amazing whiskies a unique flavour.

“Now that Arran whisky has had the chance to age, it’s a great time to try it – I would recommend the Arran 18-year-old Single Malt.”

Price: £69.99

Buy it here.

Start Strong

Ronak Kataria, buyer at The Drinks Basket, describes Bunnahabhain 12-Year-Old Scotch Whisky as “a well-rounded example of what an Islay single malt should be”.

“This took a while to grow on me but the smell hooked me instantly, a bit of cherry, a bit of citrus, and throw in some sea air as well. You will taste the fruit with Bunnahabhain , and then a bit of the spicy sweet sherry shines through. Packs a great punch,” he says.

Price: £34.99

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End On A High

Guy Hodcroft, spirits buyer at Master of Malt, recommends the Glenfarclas 15 Years Old.

“A fantastic after dinner dram, this is a classic example of the Glenfarclas style – rich and sherried, with dried fruit, spice characters, and a touch of smoke on the finish,” he says. “Produced at the family-owned Glenfarclas distillery, it provides ample evidence as to why they’re one of the best-loved distilleries in the world.”

Price: £49.99

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Feeling Fruity

Hodcroft also recommends a fruity whisky called Timorous Beastie to compliment a rich haggis.

“This is a fine example from Douglas Laing, one of Scotland’s best independent bottlers and blenders,” he says. “Taking its name from the Robert Burns poem, ‘To A Mouse’, this blended Highland Malt shows lovely fresh fruit characters, alongside delicate cereal notes and just a hint of sweetness on the finish.”

Price: £36.95

Buy it here.

Something Sweet

Kataria recommends a whisky named after the man himself – Robert Burns Scotch Whisky – but don’t worry, you don’t need to drink it all in one night.

“A great sweet smell to it, think of Vanilla and Maple syrup. Luckily it doesn’t taste syrupy as you find with some other sweet whiskies,” he says. “A great creamy feel to it and you barely taste the alcohol in it so you won’t get any burn from this one. (Excuse the pun.)”

Price: £29.99

Buy it here.

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