Fans of Scots actor-of-the-moment Sam Heughan have been eagerly anticipating the launch of his very own whisky brand.
Heughan revealed to his followers’ delight last year that he would be bringing out a new whisky, and UK customers can finally get their hands on it online.
The Sassenach, a name which pays homage to the Outlander series Heughan stars in, has been available in the United States since March 2020.
Here’s everything you need to know about the whisky - including where you can buy it.
When does the whisky launch?
Sam Heughan’s personal spirit launched on 10 December, with the actor announcing the news via Instagram with a video featuring him sitting by an outdoor fire somewhere in Scotland, drinking a dram.
US customers were treated to a pre-order restock of the whisky on Black Friday, 27 November, but UK fans had to wait just a wee bit longer to get their hands on the spirit for the first time.
Heughan also teased fans by posting a picture of crates of The Sassenach wrapped up and ready to be shipped out.
Where can you buy The Sassenach and how much does it cost?
Described as a “premium blended Scotch whisky”, customers can pre-order The Sassenach from Loch Lomond Whiskies.
It costs £75, and stock is expected to be available on 21 December, meaning whisky lovers could receive their spirit over the festive season.
Customers in Europe are also in luck, as shipping throughout European countries is available.
Some people couldn’t wait to get their hands on The Sassenach after its launch, with one fan writing on Instagram: “Ordered three, yes three!”.
Another wrote: “Ordered mine and looking forward to its arrival” with whisky emojis.
Other keen fans were demanding a whisky tutorial session hosted by Heughan himself - maybe we’ll be in luck sometime soon.
What does it taste like?
Despite being new on the market, Heughan’s whisky is already award-winning, claiming a double gold accolade at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
As Heughan himself is a self-confessed whisky lover, fans can be safe in the assertion that the whisky will taste as good as the bottle looks.
He has previously said the spirit tastes “rich, distinct, sweet and smooth”.
According to the website, The Sassenach is a “blended Scotch whisky with a distinct character and smooth flavour, suitable for any occasion”.
It’s inspired by the “Highland landscape” and has “an underlying rich character that rises to the forefront”.
What does the bottle look like?
To Scots’ delight, Heughan has used the national animal of the country, the unicorn, for The Sassenach’s logo.
The bottle has a ribbed glass design with a sleek matte-black label and matching stopper, and comes in a luxurious-looking black box with gold embossed detail.
Why is it called The Sassenach?
Only Outlander fans will understand the name of Heughan’s whisky, which is a word taken straight from the popular time-travelling show.
“Sassenach” is his character, Jamie Fraser’s, nickname for his beloved wife, Claire.
When she arrives in Scotland during the first season, Claire is called a “sassenach” as an insult.
It’s a real derogatory Gaelic word with origins in the Highlands that means a foreigner, and, more specifically, an English person.
As she grows closer to Jamie, he begins to call her by the word as a term of endearment, so it actually has a lot of sentimental meaning for fans of the series.
This could be why Heughan decided to name his spirit The Sassenach, to incorporate both Scotland and England and to acknowledge his Outlander fans.
Why did Heughan launch his own whisky?
The Outlander heartthrob worked on the whisky for a year and a half before it was released.
Sassenach Spirits is part of his new business, Great Glen Company.
He has said having his own dram is a “lifelong dream” and has joked that whisky makes you “thinner and happier”.
But the real reason he loves the spirit is because it reminds him of his Scottish roots.
Heughan is a big fan of single malts himself and once revealed that everyone on the Outlander set was keen on whisky.