Actor and whisky lover Sam Heughan rides into town

Actor Sam Heughan behind the Ardshiel Hotel bar with office manager Amanda Grant and owners Flora Grant and Marion MacKinnon.
Actor Sam Heughan behind the Ardshiel Hotel bar with office manager Amanda Grant and owners Flora Grant and Marion MacKinnon.

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Fans of the television series Outlander got a surprise when the show’s leading actor rode into Campbeltown last week.

Whisky fan Sam Heughan was photographed behind the bar of the Ardshiel Hotel which is famed for its extensive collection of single malts.

The actor, best known for playing the character Jamie Fraser in the hit historical fantasy drama, also posed outside the hotel atop a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Outlander star Sam Heughan rode into Campbeltown on a custom Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Outlander star Sam Heughan rode into Campbeltown on a custom Harley Davidson motorcycle.

On his official Twitter account, the actor revealed he’d had an ‘awesome few days on the road’ shooting the next ‘Sassenach Spirit’ campaign.

He thanked Scotland for the ‘epic views’ and Harley Davidson UK for his ‘custom wheels’.

Described as a ‘premium blended Scotch’, The Sassenach is the actor’s own whisky brand.

Its name is in reference to the pet name his Outlander character has for his love interest Claire, portrayed by actress Caitriona Balfe.

Launched last year through the Great Glen Company, which Sam founded, the whisky is already award-winning, receiving a double gold at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and a gold at the 2020 International Spirits Challenge.

Sam Heughan and a friend outside Campbeltown's Ardshiel Hotel with staff Amanda Grant, Flora Grant and Marion MacKinnon.
Sam Heughan and a friend outside Campbeltown’s Ardshiel Hotel with staff Amanda Grant, Flora Grant and Marion MacKinnon.

As well as whisky, Sam’s Twitter bio reveals he is ‘passionate about Scotland’.

In November last year, he published a travelogue titled Clanlands: Whisky, Warfare, and a Scottish Adventure Like No Other with Outlander co-star Graham McTavish which became a bestseller.

An accompanying eight-part television series, starring the two actors, titled Men in Kilts: A Roadtrip With Sam and Graham premiered in February this year.

In it, the actors explore their homeland of Scotland, delving into its culture and history.

It has also been revealed Sam is to fund a new 10-year scholarship programme in his name at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, from which he graduated in 2003 when it was named the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

Sam said he was ‘so proud’ to create the Sam Heughan Scholarship and scriptwriting competition for undergraduate students in the School of Drama, Dance, Production and Film.

He added: ‘Over the next ten years, we will support three students a year plus award a scriptwriter to give them the help they need in their chosen field.’