On Jan. 25, Scots around the world will once again commemorate Burns Night — an annual celebration of poet Robert Burns — by gorging on haggis, verse and scotch. This year, Laphroaig single malt scotch whisky is marking the occasion with a Web video featuring slam poet Elvis McGonagall reading an original ode to the smoky, salty inebriant.
The 90-second video is pretty simple: McGonagall sits in a leather chair in front of a crackling fire, pours himself a glass of Laphroaig (neat, natch) and waxes lyrical about the "how-do-you-pronounce-it’ malt. (Luh-FROY, for the record.)
The poem is a tribute not just to the whisky, but to Burns’ "Ode to a Haggis," which is traditionally recited on Burns Night. A 45-second version exists as well, for those who fill up quickly on thick, Scottish brogue.
As charming as the video is, it can be difficult for a non-Scot to decipher precisely what McGonagall is saying. So we’ve included the text of the poem below.
The video, by agency WhiteLabel UK, is the latest spot in Laphroaig’s #opinionswelcome campaign, which embraces the drink’s polarizing taste by celebrating the full spectrum of opinions about it — positive and otherwise. In November, the brand released a series of Thanksgiving videos in which comedians shared the drink with their families, not all of whom appreciated the taste.
Ode To Laphroaig
By Elvis McGonagall
"The "How-Do-You-Pronounce-It?" malt Wi’ which some Sassenachs find fault Aw’ storm-lashed-sea-spray-smoky-salt
Let’s exalt Laphroaig
Islay rain on heather, moss and grass
Through kiln ‘n cask, frae grain tae glass A snort, a drop, a dram o’ class
Crack open the Laphroaig
A richt rambusteous "amber bead"
No yin fur faintheart or weak-kneed
A muckle skelp aboot the heid
Pure radge that Laphroaig
Uisge beathe — nae moonshine booze
The nectar that the angels choose
Ambrosia, immortal muse
Bottled poetry Laphroaig
In seven pot stills by the ocean
Liquid joy, sweet peaty potion
A burning kiss of deep devotion
Ooh la la Laphroaig
Tastebuds flyin’ as high as a kite
Brain burstin’ oot in fairy lights
A deoch-an-doris tae cap the night