Just in case you thought you wouldn’t be getting your usual yearly dose of whisky, haggis and poetry, don’t worry, like everything these days, it’s now taking place online. Here are some of the best virtual Burns Nights out there.
Burns Night 2021 is on Monday 25 January. Evenings celebrating Scotland’s bard are now international, apparently the Phoenicia Hotel in Beirut normally puts on a particularly lavish one, but this year most of us will be stuck at home.
If you thought, however, you were going to be sitting on your own with a microwave haggis and a copy of the Collected Poems of Robert Burns, then think again. A number of restaurants, bars, shops and distillers are putting on virtual Burns Nights this year. These range from the complete package where you get everything including a haggis (best order as soon as possible) to music events where you bring your own whisky (like these ones, perhaps?)
However you want to do it, make sure you raise a glass to the Bard on Monday, and while you’re at it, why not enter our Roberts Burns poetry competition for the chance to wine two bottles of Islay whisky and a Glencairn tasting glass?
Burns Night with Boisdale
As you might expect from the name of the proprietor, Ranald MacDanald, Boisdale in London is doing things properly with its Burns Night supper. From 7.30pm on Monday, there will be a piper, Donald Maclaren of clan Maclaren, no less, music from Tallia Storm, a whisky tasting with Mark Tracey from LVMH, and James Cosmo star of Highlander and Braveheart will address the Haggis (fearsomely, we presume). Plus, there are three dining options, all complete with a Rob Roy cocktail and drams of Glenmorangie and Ardbeg. All from the comfort of your own home! Order now to make sure you get your package in time. Go to Boisdale’s website for more information.
Macsween Haggis Burns Night
Well, it wouldn’t be Burns Night without a haggis, the Great chieftain o’ the pudding race, as Burns put it. So you won’t be surprised to hear that Scotland’s best-known haggis makers Macsween will be hosting a Burns Night event on its Facebook page from 7pm on Monday 25 January. James Mcsween commented: “We didn’t want anyone to miss out because of the times we live in. That’s why we are inviting people from across the world to join Macsween with Karen Dunbar, who is a stand out favourite at Burns Suppers, and the trailblazing master blender Dr Rachel Barrie from Benriach distillery.” The event is free, you’ll have to bring your own food and drink but there’s still plenty of time to order your haggis and some Benriach whisky from Master of Malt.
Luvians Lockdown – Burns Night Drams
St. Andrews’ premier whisky shop is putting on an online tasting from 7pm on Monday (cut off date for shipping is 21 January). To take part, pick up a £30 tasting kit consisting of six 20ml drams from distilleries that were operation in Burns’ lifetime including Glenturret, Bowmore, Strathisla, Balblair, Oban and, controversially, Glen Garioch. “This year we are celebrating Burn’s Night with a trio of tastings celebrating the Best of Scotland. What else could we do on the big night itself than whisky,” it says. On the night there will be a zoom tasting with Archie McDiarmid from Luvians, and possibly, we’re told, some poetry. Go to the Facebook page to find out more.
Celebrate Burns Night With Glasgow Distillery, Virtually
Glasgow Distillery, the first malt distillery in the city for over 100 years, is teaming up with Once Upon a Whisky to put on not one but three Burns Night events on 21, 25 and 28 January. Buy a ticket and you will get to taste five whiskies from the distillery, four single malts and a blended malt, and, according to the website, “recount some stories and facts regarding the artistic life of Robert Burns and toast to one of the most renowned Scottish personalities.” Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Go to the Facebook page for more information.
Big Burns Night In
Taking place on Saturday 23 January at 7pm, this one is all about the music. It’s hosted by Edith Bowman and features music from an amazing array of musicians including Talisk (we’d wager they’re fans of Isle of Skye single malts), Iona Lee, Lennie Pennie, and, speakers Gerry Curruthers and Chris Waddell (not to be confused with legendary England footballer and mullet owner Chris Waddle). There will also be a cocktail masterclass from Anna Mitchell from Glenlivet. Tickets available here, you’ll have to provide your own whisky, and haggis.
Make the perfect whisky sauce with Dewar’s
So you’ve bought the haggis, brushed up on your Burns and you’ve ordered whisky, now in conjunction with Dewar’s, head chef and owner of Ballintaggart Chris Rowley will show you how to make the perfect whisky sauce this Burns Night. The recipe includes shallots, garlic, double cream, wholegrain and Dijon mustard, chives, lemon juice and, of course, whisky. Taking place on Monday 25 January on Facebook Live the event will include brand ambassador Gary Ross talking you through Dewar’s 12 Year Old, Craigellachie 13 and Aberfeldy 16. All of which can still, as of 22 January, be ordered in time for Burns Night from Master of Malt.