A Glenfiddich Guide To The Perfect Burns Night

23 January 2015

Matching the perfect dram with food is, of course, crucial to enjoying your Burns Night. But choosing the right whisky for each course can sometimes be tricky, especially with so many single malts currently out there. So here are some of my ideas, both of food and drams, to help you celebrate Burns Night in full Glenfiddich style.

Of course, it’s completely up to you when it comes to choosing which course you enjoy a Glenfiddich with but I’ve tried these recipes most years and, along with the drams that accompany them, I’ve found they’ve become old favourites. I’ve listed four possible combinations, below, and I’ll leave the selection up to you…

Starter
Cullen Skink: a rich, creamy soup made with smoked haddock

Ingredients:
•  500g undyed smoked haddock, skin on
•  A bay leaf
•  Knob of butter
•  1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
•  1 leek, washed and cut into chunks
•  2 medium potatoes, unpeeled, cut into chunks
•  500ml whole milk
•  Chives, chopped, to serve 6

Method

The dram: Glenfiddich 12 Year Old

With its light, fruity character and an edge of pear, our signature expression cuts through the cream and partners with this fishy dish perfectly.

Main course
Haggis, Neeps & Tatties: loads of spices in here with a rich, meaty backbone

Ingredients:
•  900g Macsween traditional haggis (alternatively, you can serve Macsween vegetarian haggis)
•  1 kg turnip
•  1-2 carrots for added colour in the neeps
•  1 kg potatoes (tatties). Use a good mashing variety like Maris Piper
•  Butter
•  Salt and pepper

Method

A splash of whisky on the haggis is a must before serving. This course needs a bolder whisky, typically from a sherry cask (try, for example, Glenfiddich Vintage Cask), and maybe one with a hint of smoke (in which case I’d suggest Glenfiddich Distillery Edition).  

The dram: Glenfiddich 15 Year Old

Aged in a marriage of three types of cask – ex-sherry, ex-bourbon and virgin American oak – this produces a savoury, almost mushroom note, which is just right to handle the spice and meatiness of a haggis. 


Dessert
Cranachan: Honey, cream, whisky and raspberries in a crushed up bowl of delight

Ingredients:
•  40g medium or coarse oatmeal
•  200g raspberries
•  400ml double cream
•  2 tbsp runny honey
•  2 tbsp malt whisky

Method

The dram: Glenfiddich 18 Year Old

The older brother of our signature 12-year-old edition is matured in almost identical ways but with six more years in cask. It’s filled with rich cooked fruit aromas and licks of toffee. What’s more, it has a good spicy backbone to handle the weighty cream of this classic dessert.

And for a final dram…

Glenfiddich 21 Year Old

This is a very complex, intricate and smooth expression. After initial hints of banana and fig, you’ll pick up long and satisfying vanilla notes, with a touch of smoke and new leather. The rich rum cask finish coats this otherwise grassy whisky in a veil of delightful sweetness, the perfect accompaniment to a square or two of traditional Scottish tablet. Enjoy!

How will you be celebrating Burns Night? What’s your favourite dram? Get in touch with me on Twitter: @SingleMaltMark.