Something's fishy here ...
Steven Grasse, the founder of Tamworth Distilling and a 2023 Food & Wine Drinks Innovator of the Year, has described the New Hampshire craft distillery as being a little bit “Willy Wonka” after creating 55 different — really different — products in eight short years. New releases from Tamworth are always interesting, whether you’re talking about their Graverobber Unholy Rye, made with syrup tapped from maple trees in a colonial cemetery, their Sylvan Mist, an aromatic gin designed to be worn as a perfume and served in a cocktail, and their Crab Trapper whiskey, distilled with the “crabby essence” from invasive green crabs. (And don’t get us started on the whiskey that required a trapper to do a bit of, uh, extra harvesting underneath beavers’ tails.)
That’s all a long way of saying that Tamworth is back with another limited-edition expression, and yeah, it’s a little bit bonkers too. The distillery’s latest release, House of Tamworth Saison De Frai, was inspired by the Swift River, which flows right past the distillery. As a result, each bottle of this apple brandy has been flavored with a small scoop of roe taken from New Hampshire’s state fish, the Brook Trout.
“I was enjoying a glass of Tamworth Garden VSOP Apple Brandy and watching the anglers fly fish in the backyard of the distillery,” Grasse said in a statement. “And that’s where the idea was born to use trout as a flavor agent — in order to combine our unique approach to wilderness-inspired flavors with our team’s unwavering commitment to honoring and preserving the wilds of New England.”
The base of House of Tamworth Saison De Frai is a distillate made from sustainably farmed smoked trout, which delivers what the distillery describes as “the ideal smoked trout essence.” It’s then blended with four-year-old Tamworth Garden VSOP Apple Brandy, and then the fish eggs are added to finish it off. Tamworth describes the overall texture as similar to bubble tea (albeit fishy bubble tea). To really drive the riverside vibe home, each bottle has a trout-shaped label and is packaged with a hand-tied Royal Coachman Hookless Practice Fly, in case you want to work on your technique before trying to land your own fish.
Related: This Whiskey Is Made From Crabs
The unique limited-edition spirit will be available to buy online starting on Friday, November 17. A 200ml bottle has a suggested retail price of $65, and $1 from each bottle sold goes to support the conservation efforts of Trout Unlimited, a national nonprofit organization.
“During the past century, trout have declined as a result of land development, overfishing, water pollution, poor timber and livestock grazing practices, and the introduction of non-native fishes and other aquatic invasive species,” Randy Ouellette, Vice Chair of the Trout Unlimited New Hampshire State Council, said in a statement. “The proceeds from Saison De Frai will help support our dedicated efforts of conservation, protection, and restoration of North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.”
We can’t wait to see what the northeast’s answer to Willy Wonka slips into a bottle next.
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