Scots wha hae: three great whiskies for Burns Night | David Williams


Douglas Laing Timorous Beastie Highland Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (£40, Waitrose) Is it possible to address a haggis via zoom? I guess a few of us are going to find out tomorrow night – and there’s no reason, with all the experience of socially distanced virtual celebrations that we’ve accumulated over the past year, that Burns Night 2021 can’t provide its usual burst of cosy wintry revelry. The whisky’s the thing, and, with apologies to the many superb distillers of Japan, Canada, Sweden, Wales et al, it really does have to be Scotch. Where to start? With its reference to Burn’s most famous poem, the name and packaging of independent bottler Douglas Laing’s blend of Highland malt whiskies (from distilleries such as Blair Athol, Dalmore, Glen Garioch and Glengoyne) is almost too cute – too much aimed at the kind of part-time whisky drinker who will only buy a dram for Christmas and Burns Night – to be taken seriously. But it’s actually really beautifully put together – a richly full-flavoured, candied barley sugar-like character with a delightful silky texture.

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