Caitriona Balfe as Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser

A Wee Dram of Lagavulin to Toast Caitriona Balfe as Claire

“Don’t imagine you take water, do you, Roger?”

“No.” It was Lagavulin; astonishing to find it in Boston. He sipped appreciatively, and the doctor smiled.

“Claire gave it to me—Bree’s mama. Now, there was a woman with a taste for fine whisky.” He shook his head nostalgically, and raised his glass in tribute.

“Slàinte,” Roger said quietly, and tipped his own glass before drinking. Abernathy closed his eyes in silent appreciation—whether of the whisky or the woman, Roger couldn’t tell.

Drums of Autumn, chapter 5, "Two Hundred Years from Yesterday"

Are you as deliriously stunned as I?  I wasn't expecting to meet Claire for a few weeks, at least.  And then, yesterday, she was suddenly there.

My first glance convinced me that Caitriona Balfe could be My Claire -- Our Claire -- and ever since, every picture I've seen has drawn me a little further in.  I can see myself now, perched in front of the TV, Outlandish snacks in hand, waiting for the premiere episode to begin.  Waiting for Claire to fall through the stones.

claire-laga

One of the things we (should) learn about Claire in that first episode is her appreciation for a good single malt.  Even while Frank is checking the ewer in their room at Mrs. Baird's for a little water to lighten his late-night dram, Claire is spiritedly sipping her share of the whisky, neat.

If you want to go all out for a premiere party,  there's no finer whisky with which to toast Caithan than Lagavulin 16 YO.  I've sampled a good selection of single malts since starting Outlander Kitchen almost two years ago, and it's at the top.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HgTPs2_ut8&w=560&h=315]

Be warned, it's also the one of the most expensive bottles on the shelf.    More doesn't always mean better, but in this case, the extra few dollars buys you an enjoyably complex mix of layers - peat, smoke, sweet, spice - it's all there, in a well-balanced, dark amber nectar that very few other single malts can match.

claire

Welcome to our Outlander Wonderland, Caitriona!  I think you're probably packing as I type, in a desperate rush to fit your life into a couple of bags and travel across a continent and ocean to your new home at Castle Leoch.

I see that you've gained 3000+ Twitter followers in less than 24 hours.  Dinna fash lass, we're not as scary as we first come across.  We're just here to see you off on this adventure, and toast you with a dram worthy of comparison with your gorgeous (soon to be) whisky-coloured eyes.

Sláinte!