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Robert Burns Night 2019, everything you need to know

Panorama Burns
Robert Burns in an etching, Laphroaig Cairdeas, their softer peat expression from Islay. Pic credit: Laphroaig/Wikicommons

Full disclosure: Monsters & Critics received free samples of the products mentioned in this article for review. However, the opinions expressed are independent and our own.

Happy Rabbie Burns Night! January 25 is Robert Burns Day, a night for celebration for this “ploughman’s poet” — a national treasure in Scotland and revered here in the USA and Canada where nearly 10% of the combined population of the two countries have Scottish blood.

With so many Americans and Canadians straight outta Scotland, this celebration of the great poet has turned into a “thing” in North America.

Robert Burns Day is celebrated with a proper Burns supper in honor of the famous bard, who wrote many renown Scots poems. Born in Ayrshire in 1759, Robert Burns’ verses are a fine example of Scotland’s literary history.

Notably, Auld Lang Syne — one everyone seems to know!

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

Burns Night can be both a simple dinner with drams or a high falutin’ festival with traditional Scottish bagpipes, Scottish delicacies, drunk poetry and more drams of good Scotch whisky.

One of our favorite Islay scotches, Laphroaig Single Malt Scotch Whisky sent Monsters and Critics their helpful infographic showing what you should eat and drink on this special day, along with important “Rabbie” Burns factoids.

We will be visiting their distillery in 2019, stay tuned for that tour! Pic credit: Laphroaig

To honor the legendary poet, Robert Burns, traditional Burns Nights include the national dish of Haggis, reading his poetry, and drinking (or tasting) lots of whisky!

For that really peaty expression, and for the overall cost, Laphroaig has always been our recommendation, as their newer expression Cairdeas is a bit softer with almond and spice notes and rounder in palate than the original 10 year and older Laphroaig expressions. But it’s still pretty peaty for the novice scotch drinker!

And as a bonus, Burns Night is honored with some Laphroaig cocktail recipes for those who wish to soften the blow of the charcoal and iodine notes.

For those that do prefer Laphroaig neat, great options for Burns Night include Lore, Quarter Cask and our favorite, Cairdeas Fino Cask. Fun fact: Cairdeas means friendship in Scots Gaelic.

Cairdeas Fino
Our favorite Laphroaig is softer than the original expressions. Pic credit: Laphroaig Distillery

Knowing some haven’t experienced Burns Night before, I’ve also included an easy guide to the Ultimate Laphroaig Burns Night detailing everything you need to know about tonight’s holiday. Recipes too!

Tam O’Shanter

Tam O’Shanter is a lovely scotch cocktail. Pic credit: Laphroaig

By NYC mixologist Andrey Kalinin

1 1/2 parts Laphroaig Select Scotch Whisky
1/2 part Drambuie Liqueur
1 part Bordeaux Red Wine
3 dashes Orange Bitters
Orange Peel (for garnish)


  1. Add all ingredients together in a mixing glass and stir.
  2. Strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass (served up).
  3. Garnish with a flamed orange twist.

Ode to Whisky [Sour]

By NYC mixologist Andrey Kalinin


2 parts Laphroaig® 10 Year Old Scotch Whisky
3/4 part Fresh Grapefruit Juice
1/2 part Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 part Honey Syrup
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Ginger Beer


  1. Combine all ingredients into shaking tin and dry shake.
  2. Pour over ice in Collins glass.
  3. Top with ginger beer.
  4. Garnish with lime wedge or orange half wheel


April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment more

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