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A BRIEF HISTORY OF BURNS NIGHT

If you’re a whisky fan you’ll have no doubt enjoyed a Burns Night Supper or two, held every 25 January in celebration of Scotland’s national bard, but have you ever wondered where the evening’s many quirks and traditions come from?

‘O Whisky! soul o’ plays and pranks!
Accept a bardie’s gratfu’ thanks!’

It’s clear from the poem Scotch Drink that Robert Burns was partial to a tot of the water of life. Small wonder the drink runs so freely during modern Burns Supper events; when it came to revelry, Rabbie’s lack of temperance was truly legendary.

But even a seasoned whisky drinker might find Burns Night festivities difficult, and not due to the quantities of booze. Addressing the Haggis? Selkirk’s Grace? Strangers to Burns’ writing might balk at all the little customs, and those who have attended a traditional supper may be mystified as to their origins.

Fortunately, here’s a handy history of Burns Night in time for 2018’s festivities to make sure newbies are going in prepped and ready, while dedicated Burns Supper attendees should come away with a few historical anecdotes. Slàinte!

READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON SCOTCHWHISKY.COM