A Slightly Different Burns Night
2 months ago
Our Douglas Laing's Fellow, Dr. Heinz Weinberger from Whisky-Connaisseur, describes his experience with Haggis for the birthday of Robert Burns...
Every year, exactly on January 25th, a very special birthday is celebrated throughout Scotland and wherever people feel connected to Scotland. In honour of the Scottish national poet Robert Burns (1759-1796), the "Burns Supper" or "Burns Night" takes place on this day, and the Scottish national dish, which was supposedly his favourite one, must not be missing: Haggis!
Together with 14 other Whisky enthusiasts I, as Douglas Laing's Fellow, received a small package from Glasgow about a week before Burns Night, including a nice card, an original Scottish Haggis and a sample of the new Timorous Beastie 12 Years Cask Strength. Haggis is traditionally served with "Neeps" and "Tatties". However, I remembered a dish that I enjoyed a few years ago during my stay in Grantown-on-Spey in Speyside: chicken breast stuffed with Haggis and served with a Whisky sauce. Very delicate! And that's exactly what I wanted to prepare at home. Since a meal for two is much more fun, but Haggis is not everyone's taste, I invited a good friend for dinner, who likes to drink a good Whisky, too. We cooked without a recipe and prepared a delicious Haggis menu in a slightly modified way. The fried chicken breast was not stuffed, but served with Haggis as a side dish. In addition, mashed potatoes and red cabbage were served on the plate. This may seem unusual for Scots, but I must say it tasted excellent. A poultry sauce refined with a few drams of Timorous Beastie 18 Years Old rounded off the dish. The new, wonderfully creamy-sweet, intense, fruity and spicy Timorous Beastie 12 Years Old was served in advance to get us in the mood for the dish. This Limited Cask Strength Edition is an excellent addition to the existing portfolio of the Highland Blended Malt brand Timorous Beastie.
The food tasted excellent and yes, the red cabbage as a side dish was a perfect match for our taste. We enjoyed a Dram Timorous Beastie 18 Years Old before the meal and one afterwards. Interestingly, the spicy notes of the Highland Blended Malt were reinforced by the spices in the haggis and both the sweetness and lush fruitiness of the Malt were pushed into the background after the meal. At the end of this successful evening we treated ourselves to a very special dram of Douglas Laing. Quite new, a 10 year old Glen Moray appeared in the Old Particular range. This Speyside Single Malt was matured in a single Sherry Puncheon, with the number DL12985. Distilled in November 2008, exactly 10 years later a total of 596 bottles with an alcohol content of no less than 66.7% were filled. Of course, as usual with Douglas Laing, neither coloured nor chill-filtered. The dark colour already suggested a true sherry bomb, and we were not disappointed in this respect. The mahogany-coloured nectar flowed oily into the glass and immediately offered an unmistakable and extremely pleasant aroma of sherry, raisins, dark dried fruits and Demerara sugar, accompanied by plums soaked in Armagnac, dark toffee and bitter chocolate. An enticing nose! The palate revealed what the nose promised: sweet sherry aromas, accompanied by dark fruits, toasted bread, warming spices and fine nutty flavours leading to a long, creamy finish, accompanied by sticky toffee and delicious ripe walnuts. An exceptional Whisky – incredibly good to drink. Despite the enormous strength of 66.7% ABV you didn't notice any alcoholic bite at all, everything was wonderfully integrated and harmonious. A crowning finale of a really successful evening with a good friend, delicious haggis and great Whisky from the independent bottler Douglas Laing. Thank you all!