Some hae meat an canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae let the Lord be thankit.
|Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak yer place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace
As lang’s my airm.
The groaning trencher there ye fill,
His knife see rustic Labour dicht,
Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Is there that ower his French ragout,
Poor devil! see him ower his trash,
But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
|Good luck to you and your honest, plump face,
Great chieftain of the sausage race!
Above them all you take your place,
Gut, stomach-lining, or intestines:
You’re well worthy of a grace
As long as my arm.
The overloaded platter there you fill,
His knife he wipes with rustic labour,
Then, spoon for spoon, they eagerly eat:
Is it possible that anyone, over his French “ragout”,
Poor devil! Just look at him eating his trash,
But consider the Rustic, haggis-fed,
You powers, that make mankind your care,
BURNS-LOVERS ALERT — “THE ADDRESS TO A HAGGIS” TRANSLATED
89.11 A kraftwerk orange (64.1% ABV)
Tomintoul Distillery, founded 1964 in Ballindaloch, Speyside
An inviting initial nose of dusty malt bins, barley sugars, lemon cough sweets and putty greeted the Panel. Some softer tones like café latte, ground almonds, coffee and walnut cake and caramelizing muscovado sugar followed on. An impressive heft and complexity we noted. With reduction we got notes of bitter marmalade, olive oil cake, delicate tobacco leaf, satsuma peel and orange travel sweets. The lighter scent of geraniums in a potting shed.
Neat, the palate was nutty, rich, and rather heavy for this particular distillery. Peanut brittle, caraway, toasted sunflower seeds and toffee popcorn were all notes. Scotch broth with a burlap garnish! Water enhanced the herbaceous aspects and added corn starch, canola oil, gorse flowers, hot wort and freshly made muesli with dried fruits. ($131.99)
39.194 Time flies and fruit flies (57.8% ABV)
Linkwood Distillery, founded 1821 in Elgin, Speyside
For a refill cask there is a surprising initial hit of fresh oak, Juicy Fruit chewing gum and dried banana chips. Lots of mango, pineapple, apple schnapps and fresh pears. Additional notes of toffee and coconut husk pop up as well. A wonderfully attractive aroma so far. With water the age starts to show and there’s polished wood, dusty library books, dried exotic fruits and hints of pine forest petrichor and coconut oils. In the mouth there’s a massive wave of fruity intensity.
Bold and mature beyond its years. Rancio, gentle waxiness, hot buttered scones, barley sugars, ginger sweets and hay lofts. Reduction evolves things towards honey and lemon tea, caramelized oatmeal, Belgian waffles drizzled with golden syrup and pink wafer biscuits. Marvellous stuff! ($155.99)
48.110 Sooooternes! (56.6% ABV)
Balmenach Distillery, founded 1824 in Cromdale, Speyside
Sweetness strikes first: milk chocolate, honey cake, icing sugar, assorted sweet dessert wines, mushroom powder, old wine cellars, aged Tokaji, fragrant waxes, herbal toothpaste, sheep wool, praline, cafe latte and Brazil nut. A little reduction brings out mulling spices, mincemeat, sultanas stewed in old Cognac, fruit loaf, pecan pie, pomegranate molasses, and posh custard made with old Marsala wine.
The neat palate is full of sweetened Earl Grey tea, molten fudge, lavender icing, pine resin, tea tree oil, fruit extracts, herbal infused oils, old Madeira, sponge cake and glazed fruits. With water there’s mint fudge, maraschino cherry juices, bitter orange peel, Manhattan cocktail, olive oil cake, blackcurrant wine gums, furniture polish, sweet waxes and elderflower cordial. Matured in a bourbon hogshead for 13 years before transfer to a 1st fill ex-Sauternes barrique. ($156.99)
36.1310.192 Deep and complex, sweet and earthy (60.8% ABV)
Bunnahabhain Distillery, founded 1881 near Port Askaig, Islay
The initial nose of desiccated coconut and pipe tobacco gradually opens to lemon meringue pie, apricot flan and rose bay willow-herb in wasteland, with background hints of wood, liquorice and tar. The deep, complex palate combines sweet and earthy notes; butterscotch, dark chocolate, caramelized bananas, Eccles cakes and ginger snaps, with tarry ship’s timbers and salty pork scratchings.
Water shifts the nose to straw, dried seaweed, celery, pepper, Tunnock’s Snowballs and new fence timbers. The palate becomes easier and sweeter – coffee and walnut fudge, toffee, brandy snaps and dried dates. After seven years in ex-bourbon wood we transferred this into a 2nd fill moscatel hogshead. ($168.99)
66.144 Peatabix (60.8% ABV)
Ardmore Distillery, founded 1898 in Aberdeenshire, Highlands
A potent and classic example thought the Panel. The nose displays big and uncompromising notes of smoked applewood, bacon fat, BBQ char, bitumen, damp earth and fresh rosemary. Develops an intense farmyard edge, full of hay loft, cow shed and old tool boxes. Some WD40 and burlap as well. Water gives honey roast parsnip, smoked flowers and patchouli oil with a hint of myrrh.
The mouth explodes with soft, organic peats, hickory smoke, smoked oatmeal and a bruising
minerality. Notes of peated muesli, smoked butter and cheese scones. With water there is tar resin, sorrel, bay leaf, rhubarb jelly, cured game meats and gentian eau de vie. A wonderful wee monster! ($159.99)
29.257 Out of left field (45.8%)
Laphroaig Distillery, founded 1815 near Port Ellen, Islay
This one is really out of left field – unexpected and unusual but we all gave it thumbs up. The nose has fruity perfumes riding a tame wave of clean smoke – tar on a raspberry bush, fruity hookahs, salted blackcurrant, crab claws with grapefruit, waxed lemons and melissa – oh, and hospital corridors.
The palate is a sharp, citric smoke bomb; the usual soot, tar, ash and liquorice co-existing with astringent fruits – salty lemon, passion fruit, crab apples and blackcurrant; something slightly mentholic and medicinal, and then a seriously dry finish of ginger, wasabi, leather, humbugs and liquorice. Single cask samples do not always conform to the template. After 19 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead we transferred this whisky to an Oloroso hogshead for the remainder of its maturation. ($514.99)
In Memoriam of Fred David Brown
|Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?
And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup!
We twa hae run about the braes,
We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
|Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne?
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!
We two have run about the slopes,
We two have paddled in the stream,
And there’s a hand my trusty friend!