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Robbie Burns Profile
Blended Scotch Whisky
Scotland’s national bard was an obvious name for a brand of whisky which was Burns’ self-confessed muse in his ode to Scotch Drink written in 1785, a decade before he died. Ever since then Burns Night has celebrated his birthday on 25 January with whisky and haggis – a drink and a dish that appealed to the poet for their honest, homespun nature and humble ingredients.
Yet the Robbie Burns blend, created by RH Thomson & Co (Distillers) Ltd, was never recognised by the World Burns Federation, which does officially endorse the Robert Burns blend and single malt from the Isle of Arran distillery.
Robbie Burns History
The Robbie Burns Famed Old Scotch whisky was around in the 1960s and 70s, recognisable in its distinctive dark brown bottle with stippled glass and a picture of the bard on the front. It was bottled at a strength of 40% abv, or 70 proof, although an earlier bottling for the US market in plain green glass was bottled at 86.8 proof (43.4% abv).
The blend was created by the now dissolved firm of RH Thomson & Co (Distillers) Ltd, which was founded in Leith in 1938. Among the firm’s other blends were Old Angus and Windsor Castle. It became part of the Distillers Company Ltd (DCL), the forerunner of Diageo, and at some point in the 1970s held the license for the Highland distillery of Teaninich, which DCL had acquired in 1933.