All around the world this month, dinners will be held and toasts will be made in honor of Robert Burns, the great Scottish poet who was born on Jan. 25, 1759.
Probably the coolest local celebration will be happening at Piper's Pub on the South Side, which is marking the occasion on Monday, Jan. 21.
They're calling it "A Living History in Whisky" (as the Scotch spell it), because leading a journey of five Scotch malt whiskies will be expert John McDougall, above right, who back in the 1970s managed the famed Laphroaig Distillery. The master blender and distiller has worked in and with distilleries in all the regions of Scotland.
For this event and others like it, he's working with Wild Scotsman Whisky, a Cincinnati outfit that blends and bottles Scotch whisky. It's run by Jeffrey Topping (above left), who also trained in distilling and blending in Scotland, apprenticing with Mr. McDougall.
On this night, Mr. Topping, a cousin of Piper's owner Drew Topping, will perform the traditional "Address to a Haggis," and the crowd will toast with Wild Scotsman Black Label.
The celebration begins at 9 p.m. and costs $35.
The evening's food menu fits the theme: Cock a Leekie Soup, Haggis-Stuffed Chicken in a Whisky Cream Sauce with Tatties and Neeps, and for "Afters" -- dessert -- Raspberry Cranachan.
That supper is available from 5 p.m. to close for $20.95.
Pipers is at 1828 E. Carson St., South Side (412-381-2797).
Wild Scotsman photo