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The Scots Makar raises a dram for International Women’s Day with new Scotch Whisky

To celebrate International Women’s Day and start a new tradition for The Scots Makar, the Makar’s Malt has been launched in collaboration with Jackie Kay and Isle of Raasay Distillery

A collaboration between two of Scotland’s oldest arts – poetry and whisky making – has resulted in the launch of a commemorative Scotch Whisky charity bottling for International Women’s Day, complete with a specially-written poem.

The Makar’s Malt is a limited edition single cask single malt Scotch Whisky marking the end of celebrated Scottish poet Jackie Kay’s tenure as The Scots Makar/National Poet of Scotland.

Following a tender process arranged by the Scotch Whisky Association, Isle of Raasay Distillery in the Inner Hebrides was selected by the Makar to create and bottle the commemorative single malt. The distillery worked closely with the Makar to choose a special single cask bottling, and a poem written by Jackie Kay ‘Here’s Tae Ye!’ will feature on the bottle’s label.

Here’s Tae Ye

I raise my glass, my dear,
Wherever you now are,
North, south, east or west
Under the nearest or furthest star
Slàinte!

There’s love in this wee dram,
In the purest form
To greet you my fiere, my jo,
Nippy, heathery, warm.
Slàinte!

~ Jackie Kay, 2021

For every bottle sold, 10 per cent will be donated to Glasgow Women’s Library, a charity chosen by Jackie Kay, which as well as being a lending library, is an archive about women’s lives dating back to the 1930s.

Jackie Kay said: “I am so delighted to raise a glass of my very own malt to all the women that have made my life possible on March the 8th, International Women’s Day. It is a dream dram come true for me, making some kind of alchemy. Poetry and whisky.”

The Makar’s Malt has been released in what is hoped will be the start of a new tradition for future Scots Makars. Jackie Kay is the third Makar to have been appointed by the Scottish Government in 2016, her tenure ending in March 2021.

Alasdair Day, co-founder of Isle of Raasay Distillery, added: “It is particularly poignant that we are celebrating Jackie Kay’s outstanding tenure as Scots Makar on International Women’s Day with a single cask bottling from the Isle of Raasay, birthplace of the late Gaelic poet, Sorley MacLean.

“The Isle of Raasay Distillery are very proud to be the first distillery chosen to work with The Scots Makar on this historic single cask release – a fruity, lightly peated dram that has been matured in one of our signature first fill Bordeaux red wine casks.”

The Makar’s Malt, natural colour, non-chill filtered, 53.2% ABV is available as part of a limited-edition run of 327 bottles. Buy yours here

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