We were meant to announce the winner of our Burns Night poetry competition on Burns Night itself, Monday 25 January, but we were so inundated with entries of such a high standard that it took a bit longer to come to a decision. But finally, after much discussion, we are delighted to announce that the winner is……
The judges were impressed with his amusing take on toasting the Bard. It works particularly well when read aloud and we can see it becoming something of a Burns Night classic. So thank you Mr Porterfield! You win a bottle each of Seaweed & Aeons & Digging & Fire 10 Year Old Islay single malt and Seaweed & Aeons & Digging & Fire 10 Year Old Cask Strength Islay single malt from our friends at Atom Labs, plus a Glencairn tasting glass to sip them out of. And here’s the poem:
Rabbie Burns Toast
Rabbie Burns the toast.
He burns the tatties as well,
There ne’er was a clumsier man
Than Rabbie Burns hi’sel
Rabbie Burns the toast.
He forgot tae turn it o’er,
It’s a blackened on the one side,
And there’s melted butter all o’er.
Rabbie burns the toast.
He’s scorched it all tae hell,
Distracted by yon po-yums
That dinnae ring a bell!
Rabbie, man, what have ye done?
Ye’ve wasted all the lard,
This kind ay thing cannae stand
Even if you are “the Bard”.
Ye had one job, Rabbie,
Tae make the toast for me,
Instead ye’ve wrote a poyum
For everyone to see!
I guess I can forgive ye,
You really are the most
Making all the country proud:
“Tae Rabbie Burns, a toast!”
As we said, the standard was extremely high this year and it was a difficult choice so we’ve also picked five runners up who will all receive drams. They are: Andrew Douglas, Emma Whiteman, Dave Cox, Alex Ball and Glen Sewell. You can read their entries below.
We want to say a big thank you to everyone who entered. This year there were so many funny entries, some of them extremely rude. We had great fun judging the contest. It cheered us right up. In fact, someone in-house had the idea of publishing a Master of Malt Burns Night poetry book. Watch this space! Now here are those runners-up, in no particular order:
Of camping with my father
When his boots caught fire
I am home schooling
My kids are aged eight and six
I require whisky
Now here begins a relationship between poetry and whisky,
A competition entry that will always be a risk, see
when you start talking about the water of life,
you may oft end up conversing about a Scottish poets life.
But not everyone will understand the words that he wrote,
A “Wee tim’rous beastie” could easily be a stoat.
“The best laid schemes Gang aft a-gley”
can leave us pondering ‘what’s that you say?’
One one things for certain – his love for his terroir
So much so that folk come from near and a-far
To breath in the air, albeit quite brisk, he
draws people in, where they can sample the whisky.
Burns’ ink reacts to paper like whisky inside a cask,
Both interactions with wood leaving impressions that last.
His words cause confusion, adrenalin and pain,
Like high whiskybase scores on Haig Club Single Grain.
Like Burns’ poetry, whisky is art,
years of perfecting with head and with heart,
A journey that starts with indeterminate end,
And distillers wondering what SWA rules they can bend.
But one things for certain this liquid will stay
That’s something that 2020 cant take away
Like Burns’ poetry, whisky will always stand strong
with a delightful palate, and a finish that’s long.
Of drams and drizzle:
Pile through the door, quick get it shut!
Peel off your coats, dodge the shaking black mutt.
O’er to the cabinet, a bottle, some glasses,
and turn to the fire to warm your numbed arses.
Oot there the wind shrieks, the glens fall to gloom,
in here the cork squeaks, your rising perfume.
The rain sweeps the mountains, the streams they do swell,
of fruit cakes and seaweed, all troubles you quell.
Inky black shorelines, fierce seas without master,
the tinkling of crystal, soft light and bright laughter.
N’er mind the damp wool, chilled bone and sinew,
your heat it pervades, sets the soul anew.
You grow sage o’er eons, as mountains do too,
and of a joint genesis – lo’, who knew?
For your warmth it hides your true nature from me –
after all you are born of dark peat and wild sea.
Aye, whisky wid cure the covid,
But then, Rabbie wid say that ye ken
He, best of all the poet’s knew
Whisky fires the heart o menThe amber nectar shines the eye
Can melt the ire o beast
Ane glass o it is held
To be grander than a feastIf ony, men o politics
Wid huddle roond a glass
Then all the strife in a the world
Wid vanish and wid passIf all the sodjers laid aside their arms
And drank a health instead
There,d be no wars nor civil strife
And name Maer bombs tae dreadSae whisky, heres guid health tae ye
Lang may your glory shine
Ye may not cure the covid
But you’re better than all wine.