I worked with Balblair whisky on this post in celebration of Burns night. (Read more about sponsored content on Eat Like a Girl).
Hold on to your hats, it is haggis time! It is Burns Night tonight, which is terrific for Scottish people who get to celebrate their culture. It is great for the rest of us too as their culture is fun and delicious. Whisky and haggis for me, every time, with a dash of Robbie Burns, the Scottish poet that the night is named for.
Haggis? You may be afraid of it (it won’t bite). Sure. haggis is visceral, and I know many of you have reservations. The rest of you love it and are quite evangelical about haggis and the joy it brings to your table. And you are not all Scottish.
Haggis, if you don’t know it, is a sheeps stomach of meat stuffed with sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs) and oats, onion, suet and spices mixed with stock. Often now an artificial casing is used instead. It sounds medieval (and it probably is) but it is very delicious. Crumbly, rich and gorgeous, and not feral as some offal tastes to me. Vegetarian haggis is pretty awesome too, if you can’t get past the offal nature of it all.
Whisky is an essential component of any Burns night celebration. For me, as an ingredient in the main dish as well as on the side to drink. Balblair whisky is a good choice and not just because it tastes gorgeous. Balblair is one of Scotlands oldest distilleries, founded in 1790 when Robbie Burns was still alive. The first mention of Balblair whisky was in 1749, and I like to think that Robbie might have enjoyed a a glass of it himself.
I had three Balblair whiskys for my Burns Night feast. The 2005 is a lovely drinking whisky, and it is great in an old fashioned. I rounded my old fashioned out with a little maple syrup, some bitters and an orange twist. It features in my cream sauce too. I had two quite special whiskys for drinking on their own and luxuriating in, a 1999 single malt aged in Spanish oak and a very special 1990 single malt aged in Spanish oak and American ex Bourbon casks.
Have a superb Burns Night, all! Enjoy the recipes and the whisky.
1990 Highland Single Malt Whisky, 1st release
Matures in American oak ex-bourbon casks and Spanish oak ex sherry butts Balblair Vintage 1990 2nd release is truly exceptional. This luxurious expression is the perfect after dinner treat.
1999 Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 2nd release
This beautifully developed Balblair Vintage boasts the classic, fruity, floral and light heart of Balblair set against a darker, richer backdrop of further maturation in Spanish oak.
2005 Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 1st release
Only a handful of American oak, ex-bourbon casks laid down in 2005 were selected by Distillery Manager John MacDonald to form this classic Balblair expression. Light, fruity and refreshing, this classic Vintage embodies Balblair’s house style.
- 50ml whisky (I used Balblair 05)
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 2 dashes angostura bitters
- ice cubes
- fresh orange zest, as much as the pith removed as possible, cut and shaped into twists
- 1 x 900g haggis
- 250ml single (heavy) cream
- 50 ml whisky (I used Balblair '05)
- tbsp of chopped chives
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- generous splash of worcester sauce (to taste)
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