In Celebration of Burns Night

written by HA

At Hel’s Angels we are lucky enough to work with some amazing Whisky brands, on everything from brand engagement campaigns to immersive live events. Our highly trained team of whisky mentors are adept at delivering experiences from on-trade sampling through to running in-depth tastings.

So as our thoughts turn to Burns Night tonight, what better way to celebrate the birth of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, than with a supper where Whisky is the star of the show. Celebrating all things Scottish, we’ve used our expert knowledge to suggest some food/whisky pairings which will really help your celebrations go off with a bang:

Canapé

What better way to start the meal than with an array of beautiful Scottish seafood. J Sheekey’s are serving up their hand-dived Scallops from the Isle of Mull or how about trying a fresh Oyster with hot smoked Salmon.

For this amuse bouche we recommend a whisky with a slightly sweet, citrusy edge, which cuts through the oily richness of the fish, lifting the flavour. The key to complementing strong-tasting seafood is to avoid whisky that is heavily sweet, spicy, or smoky.

Brands to try: Auchentoshan 12-year-old, Glengoyne 10-year-old

Starter

The traditional starter on Burns night is a cock-a-leekie soup but how about trying this alternative take, with a warming creamed leek and parsley broth or a smoked haddock chowder.

In choosing a whisky; light, sweet and fruity notes are needed so as not to overpower the delicate nature of the dish. Our perfect pairing would be Glenfiddich The Original.

Haggis Course

Whether you choose to address your haggis or not, you can’t have a Burns Night celebration without this most famous of Scottish dishes.

Wild Game Co restaurant in London are serving roasted haggis with lovage mash and pickled rabbi and Panko fried haggis with mustard, whisky and red currant sauce. Or for a lighter bite try The Hawksmoor’s haggis nuggets.

When it comes to Scotland’s national dish, most whiskies work well but it’s best to look for a bold whisky, aged in sherry casks and with a hint of smoke. This will beautifully complement the complex, peppery flavours and textures of the haggis.

Brands to try: Bowmore 12-year-old, Macallan Gold, Caol Ila 12-year-old

Dessert

To finish there is no other dessert to have than a Cranachan. This toasted oats, honey and raspberry delight is wonderful served with a whisky cream. A spicy and fruity whisky is perfect to cut through the sweetness.

Brands to try: Cardhu 15-year-old, Cragganmore 12-year-old, Dalwhinnie Winter’s Gold

Cheese Course

How about some full bodied Scottish cheese, such as Dunsyre Blue or Isle of Mull cheddar.  A Lagavulin 16-year-old offers a peaty sweetness which will totally transform the flavour of the cheese.

To finish

What is needed is a true sipping whisky that deserves to be enjoyed on its own.  Glenfiddich 26 year old is a perfect end to the meal.

And the big question is whether to take your whisky neat or to add water. Our advice is when pairing it with food, to take it neat.  Water, when added to whisky, opens up aromas which you might not want when focusing on the flavours on the palate.

However you are celebrating Burns night, be sure to raise a glass of your favourite Whisky in celebration.

We are off to the American bar at the Savoy to sample their Secret Agent cocktail, a blend of Woodford Reserve bourbon, Laphroaig whisky, Cocchi, Amaro, absinthe, lemon juice, sugar syrup and egg white…….Cheers

Links:

J Sheeky’s Burns Night menu will be served from 24th – 28th January: http://www.caprice-holdings.co.uk/_img/pics/pdf_1421416849.pdf

Wild Game Co will be serving up a different take on haggis daily – right through until Burns night:  http://wildgameco.co.uk/

Hawksmoor’s menu is part of Hendrick’s Burns Night celebrations:’ http://www.eventmagazine.co.uk/hendricks-celebrate-scottish-roots-burns-night-events/brands/article/1379611

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