"We're going to start looking at other innovative spirits" - Outlander star Sam Heughan on future drink releases

The Scottish actor, who is best known for playing Jamie Fraser in the drama Outlander, was a guest on our food and drink podcast Scran.

Published 7th Jan 2021
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

During the chat, Sam Heughan revealed future plans and possible other drink releases for his company, and explained how he ended up creating The Sassenach, which went on sale in the UK in December.

He said: "I was approached by a lot of different companies and a lot of different distilleries to basically to put my name to something.

"At that point, I realised that I didn't want to just stick my name on a label. I really want it to be part of the process.

"I was looking at the whiskies that I was enjoying, and I'm actually really enjoying a lot of Asian whiskies – the blends.

"They just felt intriguing, because they are a blend, and I thought that was kind of interesting.

"Single malts obviously are held in high esteem but there's a market out there for a blend that is premium and is an expression of what I like, and what I like about Scotland.”

The plan for The Sassenach was to create a blended scotch that Sam would enjoy, and was made using a range of whiskies including a 19 year old organic grain whisky.

Sam explained this: " A large part of our whisky is a 19 year old single organic grain.

"I think that's something that people look down on a little bit but I love single grain whisky. You can get some amazing aged stuff that is probably half the price of a single malt and is just as rich, delicious and full of character.

Could a single grain whisky be the next release from the Outlander star's company?

Isle of Tiree Distillery to release first single malt whisky

Sam said: "In the future, I think we're going to start looking at other innovative spirits, whether it's whisky or something else.

"But I think a single grain is definitely a route we want to look at as well, because they're so good - and probably the majority of what I'm drinking right now."

Outlander fans will know that the whisky is named for his on-screen wife Claire, who Sam’s character affectionately calls Sassenach.

The actor explained why this name works well for the blended malt, saying: “Jamie uses it (in Outlander) as a term of endearment and that's what we wanted to do with the whisky.

"We want it to be for the outsider, for people that don't know about whisky, or ones that want to access whisky and need somewhere to start. The name fits really well with the brand.”

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Watch the episode in full

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• Listen back to episodes from series one and episode one two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven twelve thirteen fourteen fifteen sixteen seventeen eighteen and nineteen from series two of Scran.

Read more: Everything you need to know about Outlander star Sam Heughan’s new whisky Sassenach

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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