Whisky to Enjoy on Burns Night

As Robert Burns’ birthday is approaching, we get our favourite haggis and our bottle or 2 of whisky to enjoy! This year is definitely going to look a lot different, but doesn’t have to be less enjoyable. We can embrace the suck and press forward with some delicious food and great whisky! It’s definitely going to be smaller, just your small pod of people, or a video gathering of all your favourite people. It’s up to you. Do something a bit more special or unique this year to compensate for the lack of gatherings.

We have put a small list of whiskies to help give you ideas for that wonderful Burns night tipple.

Stalla Dhu Caol Ila 11 y/o – 60.4%

This beautiful Islay is the newest edition to our Stalla Dhu range of independent bottlings. Bottled at cask strength and aged 11 years in a hogshead cask. You get a lightly salted sweetness, toasted almonds, slight pepper with smoldering embers. This is rich and peaty, sure to satisfy those Islay lovers out there. Limited to 287 bottles!

Singleton of Dufftown 17 Year Old Diageo Special Release 2020 – 55.1%

Part of last year’s Special Releases from Diageo, these are chosen to be a unique offering from some of our favourite distilleries. This is an unusual first-ever refill cask release of Singleton, being matured 17 years in refill American oak hogshead. This release lives up to the distillery’s smooth and balanced nature! Wonderfully creamy, fruity, a touch of fresh cut grass, and perfectly balanced.

Glendronach 12 y/o Original – 43%

A tried and true Highland whisky that brings the wonderful sherry flavours from Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez casks. A great after dinner dram to wash down your lovely haggis, neeps & tatties! This GlenDronach is just a fantastically smooth dram with creamy vanilla, dried fruits, and of course the heavy dose of sherry!

Arran Port Cask Finish – 70cl 50%

Another one for those that love the wine cask finished whiskies. This Port cask finish from Arran is a perfect pairing with a lovely cheese board, maybe bought from the Isle of Arran Cheese Shop! Charming and rich, with splashes of citrus, vanilla fudge, and ripe cherries.

Highland Park Triskelion – 45.1%

A special edition Highland Park, that for the first time was created buy 3 of the distillery’s legendary whisky makers! Three principal cask types were hand chosen by each of the distillers, then combined to showcase the influence of wood and cask seasoning. First-fill sherry seasoned Spanish oak butts, first-fill sherry seasoned American oak casks and first-fill ex-bourbon barrels and hogsheads casks. A complex, full-flavoured Highland Park that boasts vibrant orchard fruit notes, with heather honey, and just the right amount of peat smoke!

Arran 25 Year Old Release

Photo Credit: Arran Whisky

Arran has always been one of my favourite places to visit, and the fact they have a distillery there just makes it that much better! A mixture of good scenery and good whisky is always a recipe for a lovely experience! I will be happy when I’m able to go spend some more time there.

Lochranza Distillery is in their 25th year of production and to mark that momentous occasion, they have released their first 25 year old single malt! The 25 will be added to their core range and will only have limited quantities put out each year. This is definitely a big milestone for them to put out this single malt from the 1995 casks. As this has been an especially challenging year for everyone, they are hoping this will be something special that everyone can enjoy together!

Here is a little rundown from the distillery:

Original 1995 Stock Lifespan Breakdown
35% ex-Sherry
65% ex-Bourbon

Re-casking
All stock re-casked into 1st Fill and Refill Sherry Hogsheads for 12 months prior to bottling.

Arran 25 Tasting Notes

Nose – Rich oak with a gentle nutmeg note. Sweeter aromas of baked ripe figs, sultanas and black cherries.

Palate – Fruit cake with toasted almonds and cinnamon. The juicy zestiness of oranges and mandarins mellows perfectly with manuka honey, muscovado sugar, baked apricots and an interesting white pepper note that provides even more complexity.

Finish – Creamy and spicy with dark chocolate, walnuts and dark fruits compote.

Ramble Tamble

I adore October, the dawn of my favourite season. I wait each year to feel the creeping breeze of icy air, warmed by the fading summer sun. However, this October, I was delighted to hear there was work for me in Liverpool. I packed two bags; one for essentials and the other for the whisky. My excitement was unravelling each step I took
closer to the Mersey.

I arrived at Lime Street Station and jumped a cab straight to my favourite location in the city. A small church garden, just off of Rumford Place which overlooks the Liver Building and the Princes Dock. I parked myself on a bench overlooking the view, and cracked open the perfect bottle.

The Arran Malt Port Cask Finish. A fantastic aroma of strawberry jam, peppermint and sticky toffee pudding, with a full bodied pallet of berries, cocoa and ginger, completed with a coated, long finish of tart red wine – similar to a Côtes-du-Rhône. It is bottled at 50%abv, which is a perfect dram for someone looking for a little more adventure.

This single malt originates from a quaint island situated between Campbeltown and Ayr, it sits just off of the gulf stream, allowing the Island to sprout palm trees. I never would’ve thought a palm tree could grow on the Outer Hebrides. The distillery itself is quite young compared to other single malt distilleries. It was founded in 1995, situated in the north of the island at a place called Lochranza, where the water sources were completely untouched and perfect in every way.

Back in the eighteen century, the island had perfect links to Glasgow and the demand for smuggled whisky was on the rise. There was a huge amount of spirit distilling on the Island, there was even some molasses rumoured to being distilled. After the law changed, a distillery ran in Lagg from 1825. However, the closure of the distillery happened in 1837 and the heritage of distilling on the island seemed to be lost forever. Even though the Island was once home to over fifty whisky distilleries, it is now only home to one. The Lochranza Distillery has over 60,000 guests visit it every year. Unfortunately, I am yet to visit.

I have heard amazing stories of a bike track which completely encompasses the shore of the island. I can picture myself gliding through a haven of roaring seas and calm beaches, whilst listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival and attempting to spot the allusive palm trees of Arran. Only to find myself finishing the trail with a dram of my favourite Island Malt. Arran Port Cask Finish.

But for the meantime, Liverpool is pretty gorgeous this time of year.

-James