The poet Robert Burns wrote about whisky:
O thou, my muse! guid auld Scotch drink!
Whether thro’ wimplin worms thou jink,
Or, richly brown, ream owre the brink,
In glorious faem,
Inspire me, till I lisp an’ wink,
To sing thy name!
In other words, Scots love their whisky. To honour Burns and the Night named after him, our Amsterdam Studio hosted an (early) Burns Night this week – complete with Scottish bagpipers and a real-life whisky expert.
To open the proceedings, resident Scotsman and Senior Design Paul Meikle talked the team through the origins of Burns Night: ‘Burns Night’ or a ‘Burns Supper’ is a traditionally Scottish festivity celebrated on the 25th of January. It’s not only an homage to the poet Robert Burns but also a chance to eat – and address – a Haggis. And make toasts, generally with whisky.
To celebrate the Scottish heritage of the event, our Amsterdam Studio welcomed local liquor expert Michael Bruynse to join the festivities. Michael lead a whisky tasting for the team, sharing notes on how best to store, serve, drink and enjoy the golden spirit.
In the interests of keeping it (fairly) local, the team chose a sherry cask-aged Belgian whisky for the tasting. Notes on the tasting included how to assess the texture of whisky (looking at the “legs” on the side of the glass), how to experiment with different ways of drinking it (with water, ice, in different glasses and in the cold), and key flavour notes to look out for.
Our other resident Scotsman, Robbie Kerr, wrapped up proceedings with a short Robert Burns poetry recital.
With almost 20 different nationalities in our Amsterdam Studio, a Belgian Burns Night is exactly the kind of cultural mash-up we’re used to. No matter the language, the food, drinks and festivities are never in short supply.
Slàinte! And Proost!