Celebrating Burns Review

By Gavin Bell, Managing Director at Yatter

Haggis bon bons, whisky cocktails and fabulous entertainment - an event to remember. 

Unfortunately, I’ve not had the chance to attend a Marketing Society event since pre-COVID and so I was super excited to attend the “Celebrating Burns” night at Johnnie Walker Princes Street, along with the other members of the Yatter leadership team.

I was excited to be in a room with Marketing Society members again, and also to visit the Johnnie Walker Experience. I had heard a lot of good reviews about it, but hadn’t had a chance to visit yet… so what better time to try it out than Burns Night?

It didn’t disappoint. 

On arrival, we were asked to answer questions about our taste profile: do we like cinnamon buns, zesty fruits, spicy or not etc? 

After we had completed our taste profiles, we were taken on the Johnnie Walker Tasting experience which involved some excellent acting and storytelling about the history of Johnnie Walker. I really didn’t know much about his story, so thoroughly enjoyed learning about it in such an immersive way.

We were then invited to create our own whisky highball, with the whisky used being based on our taste profile answers. My taste profile came back as “fresh” - and that’s exactly what my highball was! Delicious. 

After the tasting, we enjoyed some lovely cocktails and canapes, which of course included Haggis Bon Bons before enjoying some fantastic entertainment.

The entertainment started with Alan McGarrie, the Head of Marketing at the Johnnie Walker Princes Street. He shared a few words before inviting Benny Higgins, Chairman of the Edinburgh Fringe, to the stage. 

Benny provided an incredibly funny, yet eloquent insight into Burns, including reciting some of his best poems. I laughed and I learned about our National Bard. Next up was Shona McCarthy, the CEO at Edinburgh Fringe Festival who delivered a hilarious take on the “Toast to the Lassies” with her “Toast to the Laddies”. 

And then of course, we needed a response to the “Toast to the Laddies”, so up stepped the Managing Director of Carat, Chris Marsh who delivered an equally funny response. 

The evening was then topped off with a fantastic set of tunes by Iona Fyfe. She discussed Burns and sang a few Scots tunes ending with an unaccompanied Auld Lang Syne. As she sang, the team at Johnnie Walker handed out a final dram which went down a treat!

As we left, all attendees were handed a takeaway bottle of Johnnie Walker whisky - an unexpected surprise and a perfect way to end the night.

A great evening of entertainment, food, drink, whisky and networking was had by all.

Written by Gavin Bell, Managing Director at Yatter.



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