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'We want it to be for the outsider, for people that don't know about whisky' - Outlander star Sam Heughan on his Sassenach blended malt

The Scottish actor, who is best known for playing Jamie Fraser in the drama Outlander, is the latest guest on our food and drink podcast Scran, where he discussed, among other things, his Sassenach whisky.

Published: November 21, 2020
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During the chat on Scran, Sam revealed when UK whisky and Outlander fans would be able to buy The Sassenach whisky, a blended malt that has had a limited release in America so far.

Sam said: “The end of November is what I’m saying. And actually, if you look at the end of November, the 30th of November is St Andrews day. So that might be a nice day to to launch…

“We’re just gearing up to to that launch, and in the UK, we have one of the biggest online retailers of spirits and whiskies, who is going to stock it.

“We’re also looking at a lot of individual retailers and a couple of restaurants and bars, hopefully, which will be open by then obviously, with lockdown.”

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

Sam explains 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.”

Listen to the episode in full

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Sam went on to explain why he chose a blended malt over a single malt for the whisky, which has the tagline ‘the spirit of home’, saying: “Blends, in the past, have been traditionally looked down on as they are seen as being cheaper. But actually they can be so unique and that’s what we are trying to do with ours.”

He added: “I really want to be part of the process and and 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.”

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.

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