Whisky Focus - How To Host Your Own Burns Supper Plus Whisky Suggestions

How To Host Your Own Burns Supper Plus Whisky Suggestions


15th January 2024
A short guide on how to host your own Burns Supper, including poetry, food and of course one of Burns loves, whisky, in fact three whiskies from a distillery which would have been local to Burns had he been alive today, Bladnoch.

Robert BurnsBurns Suppers can take on either a formal or light-hearted tone, depending on the organisers. Events coordinated by "Burns clubs" tend to lean towards formality, often adhering to programs outlined below.

A classic traditional Burns Night typically involves haggis, whisky, bagpipers, and formal Scottish Highland dress. However, I believe that with great company, good quality whisky, and a collection of the works of Scotland's Ploughman Poet, you have all the essentials for a wonderful celebration.

Various groups and organisations such as whisky clubs arrange Burns suppers, ranging from highly formal gatherings to more casual affairs organised by clubs or individuals drawn to the bard's works (or those simply looking for an excuse to indulge with
"John Barleycorn").

Regardless, one can expect the performers at a Burn's Supper to be knowledgeable and dedicated, having put considerable effort into preparing their contributions to the evening's entertainment.

Many of Burns' poems you may hear at a Burns Supper, such as
"Tam o' Shanter", are extensive epics demanding commitment and an excellent memory. Written in the Scots dialect, much of which may be unfamiliar even to Scots today, these works present a unique linguistic challenge.

The main ingredients for any Burn's Supper is, whether formal or informal, good food, which is traditionally haggis, tattie's and neep's (turnip), plenty of good whisky, good company and of course readings of some of Burns poetry and songs. The traditional Burns Supper running order is as follows:

Traditional Burns Supper Running Order

Piping In The Guests

Welcome Speech

Piping In The Haggis

Address To The Haggis

Toast To The Haggis (Whisky)

The Selkirk Grace

The First Entertainment

The Immortal Memory

The Second Entertainment

Toast To The Lassies (Whisky)

Final Entertainment

Reply To The Toast To The Lassies

Vote Of Thanks

Auld Lang Syne

 

I cant help you with the the guests, and Burns poetry and songs speak for themselves but I can make a few suggestions for the menu and the whiskies to toast the Bard..

Burns Supper First Course Suggestions:

Traditionally soup is served, often with either oatcakes, homemade bread rolls, or scones on the side.

Cullen Skink

  • Cock-A-Leekie soup
  • Scotch Broth
  • Cullen Skink (a traditional hearty Scottish soup made with smoked haddock)
Burns Supper Main Course Suggestions:

At the heart of any Burns Supper is Haggis, which is sheep's lungs, heart and liver minced with onion, oatmeal and spices and cooked inside the animals stomach but these days it is more likely an artificial casing. There is also a vegetarian haggis option available these days.

Haggis, Tatties & Neeps

  • Haggis or vegetarian haggis
  • Tatties (potatoes)
  • Neeps (Turnip)
Burns Supper Dessert Course Suggestions:

Something sweet to finish. More often than not you will have Cranchan to finish at a Burns Supper, this is a traditional Scottish dish of cream and fruit with whisky in it.

 

Cranachan

  • Cranachan (layers of toasted oats, raspberries and whipped cream laced with honey and whisky)
  • Clootie dumpling (rich fruit clootie dumpling is a classic Scottish steamed pudding, serve with clotted cream)
  • Whisky fruitcake

Burns Supper Whisky

As you know Burns was fond of a wee dram or two and traditionally Scotch whisky will be flowing throughout the evening of any Burns Supper with toasts and speeches and just to accompany and compliment the food.

There are huge amount of Scotch whiskies to choose from but I thought it was appropriate to suggest three single malts whiskies from Bladnoch distillery in Dumfries & Galloway which is the southernmost distillery in Scotland and one of the closest to where Burns spent much of his life and saw out his final days. The water which gave life to this historic distillery would have also sustained the whiskies of Burns era, making Bladnoch the ideal dram to complement Burns Suppers this January.

The three whiskies which I am suggesting to toast the Bard with are from The Bladnoch Classic Collection, they are Bladnoch Vinaya, Samsara and Liora. The Bladnoch Classic Collection is expertly handcrafted by Master Distiller, Dr Nick Savage and his team, using water from the River Bladnoch which flows alongside the distillery. All three whiskies Vinaya, Samsara and Liora are natural in colour and non-chill filtered, to ensure the truest flavours shine through. You will find my tasting notes for the three Bladnoch Classic Collection whiskies via the links below.
 

Host A Burns Supper And Bladnoch Whisky Reviews


 

 

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