For anyone who has ever wanted to make their own whisky, Burns Supper might be just the right occasion. But a good scotch is not all it takes …

The British Isles are famous for all kinds of traditions, many of which seem strange or even bizarre to people on the continent. A special evening that is celebrated every year on 25 January in Scotland and wherever Scottish expatriates can be found in larger numbers is no exception. We are talking about Burns Supper, a celebration in honor of the Scottish poet Robert Burns that combines culinary and – in more than one sense of the word – spiritual enjoyment.

Having said that, opinions are divided on the definition of “enjoyment” – at least outside Scotland. Because the culinary highlight at this event is haggis, a specialty made with spiced sheep’s offal, onions and oatmeal, cooked for hours in a sheep’s stomach.

But what does haggis have to do with Robert Burns? The poet lived in the 18th century and is best known for the famous folk song “Auld lang syne” – meaning “long, long ago”. Now, Burns also wrote many other poems that have found their way into popular culture, including the “Address to a Haggis”, a passionate homage to the stuffed sheep’s stomach. It is therefore obvious that haggis should be served on this evening in honor of the poet.

The Burns Supper follows a strict sequence of events. Not only the “Address to a Haggis”, but also many other poems by Burns are recited. Bagpipes and kilts are equally important, as is of course whisky – this is where the spiritual enjoyment comes in – which is drunk at every opportunity. The haggis is more often than not served with “whisky sauce”, which means it is doused with pure whisky.

After dinner, there is plenty of time for sampling various Scottish malt whiskies. Anyone who wants to make their own will find the basic materials they need for a good whisky in our range of high-quality distillers’ malts.

Slàinte mhath!