TOASTING THE HAGGIS

If you’re planning on celebrating Robert Burns Day this January 25th, we’ve got your haggis.

Made by our charcuterie specialist, Scott (how appropriate) Draper, we believe our haggis would earn the Ploughman Poet’s seal of approval. Available in time for RBD, it features all-Ontario antibiotic-and-hormone-free lamb offal combined with oatmeal, onion, lard and seasoning all packed into a beef bung (part of the cow’s intestine). Steam, boil or roast this authentic article, serve with neeps and tatties and you’ll be a’feast n true Caledonian fashion.

Now that you’ve got your haggis, you must be prepared to toast it. For that you’ll need some Scotch whisky. Let’s break this down into two very simple categories, one blend and one single malt.

TÉ BHEAG BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY.

It’s unpronounceable — it must be good. Some, but definitely not all, blended Scotches hollow out, revealing their neutral grain spirit foundation. Not so TéBheag. It’s got a core of malty warmth contrasted by measured Presbyterian rectitude, like an unpadded upright pew. Scotch and soda drinkers rejoice. It’s a wee bit dear at $40.50 for 700 ml but you’ll thank yourself for the extravagance.

GLEN FIDDICH SINGLE MALT 15 YEAR OLD

Yes, whisky snobs, I’m sure there are other more rarefied, pungent, specialist single malts to espouse but are they on the shelves and can we afford them? I remember Glen Fiddich 15 — it’s been awhile Glen — as an enticing pas de deaux of fruits and florals; delicate but with single malt single-minded presence and persistence. Mega-sippable. It’s at a number of LCBOs and is a relative deal at $79.95