Arran’s water of life (and poetry)
No Burns supper is complete without Scotland's national drink, and the island offers the perfect accompanying dram
It's no surprise that the land of Robert Burns remains synonymous with the love of good whisky. The area is home to one of the country's few remaining independent whisky distillers, Isle of Arran distillery, and the local connection makes it a popular choice of whisky at Burns celebrations.
Established relatively recently in 1995, Isle of Arran Distillers now has a core range of single malts, blends, limited edition bottlings including ‘the Devils Punchbowl’ and a cream liqueur called ‘Arran Gold’. It is their 14-year-old Arran Malt however that Ayrshire whisky expert, Robin Russell, of Robbie's Drams in Ayr, recommends as a local whisky to serve with haggis. With flavours of chocolate, orange and spiced tea cake, Russell says it makes for a perfect drink for toasting Scotland’s national poet.
In an area steeped in history about Burns, who himself was fond of a dram, it’s fitting that Isle of Arran Distillers are patrons of the Robert Burns World Federation. In recognition of this and as a toast to the great man himself, the distillers have created a Robert Burns Collection. As a former exciseman in an area famous for its illicit whisky trade, Burns might well have penned an ode to this.