The Outlander stars Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe – who play on-screen couple Jamie and Claire – have branched out into the drinks market by releasing their own whisky and gin, respectively.
Sam Heughan’s whisky
The Scottish actor, who plays Jamie Fraser on the show, announced the news that he would be launching his own drinks brand , Great Glen Company, on social media last year, with the first product being a blended whisky called The Sassenach.
The new whisky’s name is a nod to the nickname Heughan’s character, Jamie, gives his on-screen love interest, Claire, on the show.
The launch of the new product realises a dream the Scots actor has had for a long time. Speaking to The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS), he said, “First stop is obviously the lifelong dream of having my own dram.”
He has also previously joked that whisky makes you “thinner and happier”, but added that the real reason he loves whisky is that it reminds him “so much of home.”
Sassenach whisky launched in the US, following a successful trial run, and sold out quickly. This lead the actor to recently reveal the date for a second release in the States and, finally, a UK on-sale date.
Posting on his social media, the Outlander star said, “Scotland awakes, bottles are being filled with gold and labeled with love. Putting the finishing touches on the next release. The Sassenach will be available in the US.. and the UK in November 2020 with additional regions to follow! Stay safe all. With love.”
What do we know about the whisky?
The Sassenach is a premium blended whisky (meaning it’s a marriage of both single malts and single grain whisky), and has been bottled at 46% abv.
The resulting whisky is described as being “inspired by the Highland landscape, the Sassenach is a uniquely blended Scotch whisky with a distinct character and smooth flavour, suitable for any occasion. Ancient peaks, hidden glens, and rising morning mist, freshwater and firm oak run deep in its veins.”
“Matured in casks that previously held fine Madeira wine, the exceptional blend has an underlying rich character that rises to the forefront,” the product description goes on.
With regard to flavour notes, it’s described as the nose being packed with “citrus fruits, almonds, and vanilla”, while on the palate, expect to find notes of “peach, apricot, honey, and butterscotch.”
Caitriona Balfe’s gin
Not as much is known about Caitriona Balfe’s foray into spirits, apart from her cryptic social media posts that point to a release of a Scottish gin called Forget Me Not.
In March, the Irish actor posted on her official Twitter and Instagram, “It’s all about to be gin.”
This was accompanied by the hashtags #ForgetMeNot and #Staytuned
The post refers to the reported £400 million cuts to arts spending in the UK, prompting speculation that the gin could be being produced in a bid to raise funds for the sector.
Since then, Balfe has posted a video of herself enjoying a gin and tonic, sitting next to a bottle of what looks like her Forget Me Not gin, writing, “Drinking to remember.”
With the Scottish gin market continuing its upward trend, this new release is sure to delight gin and Outlander fans alike.