Day 8 of the 2019 KWM Whisky Calendar – Robert Burns Single Malt

by Evan

Day eight if advent is here, so it is time to open another door on the 2019 KWM Whisky Calendar. Today’s bottle comes to us from the Isle of Arran’s Lochranza Distillery, but has a different name on it. The name of Scotland’s most famous of poets, and Scotch Whisky’s unofficial poet laureate – Robert Burns.

For a man that passed away at 37 years of age, Robert Burns was a fairly prolific and popular poet. He started along the path of poetry at 15 years of age and his first collection was first published in 1786 with a second edition following hot on its heels the following year. Born in 1759, Burns would have been between 26 and 28 years old at the time of his rising popularity.

While he did become more popular, especially in the cliques of artists and litterati in Edinburgh, this did not make his financial life easier, so he was forced to undertake a day job working for Customs and Excise. The work allowed him to live a bit more comfortable and also provide for his family. While there is evidence that he did not enjoy being THE MAN or working for THE MAN, he remained at this station until his until his untimely passing on the 21st of July, 1796.

A defaced portrait of Robert Burns. The culprits have never been identified.

The man, the myth, the legend that was Robert Burns has become a larger than life character since his passing 235 years ago. He has this Single Malt as well as the Robert Burns Blended Scotch bearing his name. His birthday on January 25th is celebrated world ’round with Burns Suppers, Scotch Tastings and Festivals. Haggis, Kilts, and bagpipes are typically involved to some degree, lest you forget he was Scottish.

This is great, because us Scotch Whisky lovers the world over are always keen to:

  • pretend we are Scottish, either directly or by ancestry.
  • put on a poorly conceived and likely Sean Connery influenced Scottish accent.
  • have a reason for whisky drinking and general debauchery beyond it being “just another Tuesday”.

The festivities typically center around Robert Burns’ famous “Address to the Haggis”, a poem typically recited in old Scots Gaelic for true authenticity, and showing that yes, you can indeed write poetry about pretty much any object you find sitting around.

All of this general silliness is nearly always fun and festive and our hearts and livers are in a good place in playing along with it all. If we get out of hand, that can hardly be blamed on Robert Burns itself.

Now, onto the producers of the Robert Burns Single Malt – which is officially endorsed World Robert Burns Federation. The Robert Burns Single Malt is produced by The Isle of Arran Distillers, whom are also responsible for the Robert Burns Blend. The two bottlings both get their malt portion from Arran’s Lochranza Distillery, which first opened in 1995. It was the first legal distillery operating on the isle in more than a century and a half.

Arran Distillers is a patron of the World Robert Burns Federation, and this partnership allows them to label the two whiskies with Robert Burns’ image and signature attached. If my memory serves, there were releases of Robert Burns Scotch Whisky produced and sold before the company even released their first bottling of the Arran 10 Year Old, so this relationship between Arran Distillers and The World Robert Burns Federation is likely more than 15 years old.

So, does all that mean that the whisky is good? Let’s crack open the mini and find out!

Robert Burns Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Made from Arran Distillers’ Single malt which is produced at their Lochranza Distillery on the Isle of Arran. Aged in a combination of ex-ex-Sherry Hogsheads and ex-Bourbon casks. Bottled at 43% ABV.

Evan’s Tasting Note

Nose: Fresh out of the oven biscuits, pear compote, apple strudel, ripe banana, whipped cream with a dash of vanilla, elderflower, light dunnage notes and a touch of balsa wood and eucalyptus,

Palate: Smooth and creamy with a dash of spice. Shortbread, candied ginger, soft jujubes, lemonade and french toast with honey drizzled on top plus a touch of cinnamon powder.

Finish: Short, but sweet with just a touch of salt and creamy dannin to slowly dry the mouth and leave it ready for more. Possibly much more.

Comment: This is likely young as there are not a lot of prominent wood notes, but man is it ever balanced. It is not overly complex, but it sure is well put together and very drinkable.

So there we have it! Day eight is mostly done and day nine is coming up soon. See you on the flipside!

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*The Kensington Wine Market Whisky Advent Calendar is produced under license from Secret Spirits, Scotch Whisky Advent Calendarâ„¢
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