The holidays are just around the corner, and the pressure to find those last-minute gifts is on. Look no further than our newest release: Tamworth Garden Damson Gin. We took inspiration from our cousins across the pond to create our version of a British Christmas classic.

 

 

Damson Gin is made by infusing tart, sweet damson plums into gin, and is the lesser-known cousin of Sloe Gin. Both damsons and sloes are commonly found growing through Britain’s iconic hedgerows. Since the 1700s, while Colonial Americans were preserving their apple crops by fermenting cider and cold-distilling applejack, commoners and farmers in Britain were harvesting sloe berries (much too tart and astringent to eat on their own) and making them consumable by soaking them in alcohol. Since both fruits are harvested in the fall, they were infused just in time for holidays, and thus, a winter tradition was born.

 

 

Fans of our Art in the Age Black Walnut Damson Cordial are already familiar with the small plum’s tart, jam flavor. This time, we’ve paired damson with juniper, bitter orange, anise hyssop, and hops to create a tartly sweet and herbaceous spirit, which sits at a low proof for perfect sipping. Damson plums are naturally sweeter than sloes, which is why sloe gins typically require added sugar for a syrupy sweetness.

 

Enjoy Damson Gin on its own as a pre or post-dinner sipper, or mix yourself a Damson Gin Fizz. No matter how you drink it, it’s a surefire way to get you and yours into the Christmas spirit this year!

 

 

What’s better than a partridge in a pear tree? The gift of spirits!

Join us this holiday season as we celebrate 12 Days of Tamworth at our distillery! During this festive time, we’ll be featuring notable gifts to shop for as they’re available, including a brand new, limited-release spirit each week! Leading up to our three releases, our experts will share recommendations on tools, bitters, mixers and more to compliment the spirit of your choosing. After all, there’s more to cocktails than booze!

Impress your guests this year with a stocked home bar, tools you know how to use, and delicious cocktails. Don’t miss out on the next few weeks of our latest creations and tips from the pros. Grab a bottle before they’re gone!

Happy Holidays, Cheers!

 

 

The Bottled In Bond act of 1897 was spearheaded by Colonel Edmund Haynes Taylor, Jr and Secretary of Treasury John Carlisle. It was signed into effect as one of his last enduring effects of his 2 (separate) term presidential career, retiring on March 4th 1897. After years in New Jersey, he found summer retreat in his second home in Tamworth, New Hampshire. In fact, the Tamworth Distilling and Mercantile site is one of the first addresses of the start of Cleveland Hill Road, which leads to the president’s second home.

As an homage to connect the history of Tamworth and the rebirth of integrity in aged spirits in the United States, Tamworth Distilling set out to mature apple brandy (another regionally historic spirit) under the careful guidelines of the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897 which was initiated to reform 1800’s distillers from using unscrupulous tactics of falsifying quality of rye whiskey, bourbon and apple brandy by offering an industry standard.

Under the act – “Bottled In Bond” criteria deems that liquid must be from one distiller, in one distilling season, and matured in oak barrels under U.S. government supervision for at least 4 years and left at no lower than 50% ABV. This level of transparency and traceability still proves to this day to be upheld by few.

To undergo this task, we employed simple and flavorful distillation techniques to ensure the barrels were packed with flavor for the 4 year journey. Apples were sourced from Carter Hill Apple Orchard, one of the oldest active orchards in the United States. The result is a caramel colored spirit that begins with a custard richness on the nose and a full bodied nature with hints of rosy stewed apples and tobacco smoke.

To reserve your bottle click here or call Tamworth Distilling. Please note that no digital reservations are confirmed until credit card information has been processed via phone.

The seventh annual Aquavit Week, the week-long celebration of the signature spirit of the Nordics, returns for 2018 from November 4 to 10th. Aquavit Week is devoted to celebrating the wonderful diversity of aquavit, its pairing possibilities with food, beer, and cider, and its exciting potential in cocktails. Learn more about Aquavit Week here!

Aquavit background

The Nansen Ski Club was founded in 1872 by a group of Nordic settlers, and has since become a ski institution — in fact, it is the oldest operating ski club in the country. A non-profit organization, it maintains cross-country ski trails in the area as well as its famous ski jump, which was recently restored to its former glory after being decommissioned in 1988. This interesting piece of New Hampshire heritage inspired the creation of Skiklubben Aquavit, a traditional Scandanavian spirit flavored with spices and herbs. The result is a delightfully warming dram, usually sipped neat or taken as a shot. Aquavit is a large part of Scandanavian drinking culture, consumed at celebrations and as an aperitif before dinners. Often, it is drunk as a finale to a drinking song called a snapsvisa, with a toast of “Skål!”.

Traditionally, aquavit’s main spice is caraway. Tamworth’s version includes a ginger twist for a floral piquant along with cardamom, star anise, and pink peppercorn. The flavorful shot is a perfect winter sipper, and can also be used as a seasonal twist on classic cocktails like a Manhattan or a Swedish Mule. The baking spices combine with the malty sweetness of root vegetables to create a surprisingly unique mixing tool. The whiskey base (a blend of bourbon, barley and wheat whiskey) also adds complexity, serving as a rich background for the balanced spice of the other ingredients.

Skâl!

 

Fall brings a lot of northeastern hallmarks: the foliage changes, county fairs, apples picking and grain harvests. Rye, being largely considered a ‘northern grain,’ tends to be a little hardier and robust in flavor than bourbon. This graininess and zest plays very well with the iconically sweet and fruity apple. Building from another tradion, the practice of making French Pommeau utilizes fresh pressed apple cider aged with calvados. We took that premise and experimented with substituting the base with a rye whiskey. The result is much different than Pommeau, but equally as quaffable. 2 year old rye whiskey is comingled with fresh pressed NH apple cider and rested in the rye barrel. The added time in the barrel mellows any sharper flavors and allows for added oxidizing.

 

 

Flavor Profile/Tasting Notes:

The nose is that of a fruit turnover, warm earthy grain mixed with baked apple. There are hints of grassy rye, along with some cherry aroma gained from the rye/fruit combo. The headspace gives way to more raisin bread and cinnamon characteristics. The first sip brings with it the taste of caramel covered apple. There is an almost apricot like mid-palatte, stonefruit and acidity extend to a medium finish. The mouthfeel remains not-too cloying or sweet, while maintaining a slight viscosity.

Would be great as a stand alone sipper, in a snifter. Would also work well mulled or in a hot toddy.

 

Pictured cocktails (left to right): Chocorua Cider Rye on the Rocks, Hot Cider Toddy, & Apple of my Rye


Cider Cider Rye on the Rocks

2 oz Chocorua Cider Rye over rocks in rocks glass

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Hot Cider Toddy

2 oz Chocorua Cider

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup hot water

Lemon garnish

Directions: Combine Cider Rye, honey, and lemon juice in a mug. Top off with hot water and stir until honey is dissolved. Garnish with lemon.

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Apple of My Rye

2 oz Chocorua Cider Rye

½ oz AITA Chicory

½ oz lemon juice

1/8 tsp smoked paprika

1/8 tsp ground cardamom

Top with hard cider

Mint sprig and apple slice garnish

Directions: Shake all ingredients except for hard cider in a shaker with ice and strain over crushed ice in an oversized rocks glass. Top with hard cider, then garnish with mint and apple.

Fall is here! ‘Tis the season for all things apple — including spirits!

Hear from the expert: Jamie Oakes, Head Distiller at Tamworth Distilling

“We are happy to announce we will be releasing two apple-forward products over the next two weeks: Chocorua Cider Rye and the re-release of Tamworth Garden Pommeau. Both spirits use apple cider roughly the same way. We take a base spirit and proof it down with fresh pressed apple cider, instead of our filtered water. We then place the new concoction back into a barrel to mellow out for a period of time.”

“The fresh quality of cider will age into a stewed apple/ honeyed aroma and flavor. The cider adds natural sweetness as a key ingredient, but furthers the velvety mouthfeel. It softens some sharp edges of higher proof spirits without giving up flavor or flattening the spirit. The structure of the cider allows for much lower proof and gives way to a more approachable distilled spirit with a more session-able ABV — something between wine and typical distilled spirits.” — Jamie

Cheers to fall-friendly spirits!

Cider rye base: 2 year-old rye whiskey

Pommeau base: Apple brandy

Take a look at some other apple-based spirits produced by Tamworth Distilling: Art in the Age Maple Jack and Old Hampshire Applejack!

Tamworth Distilling had a very special visitor recently! Governor Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, who is a tireless advocate for supporting small business, stopped by for a distillery tour and a taste of our Old Hampshire Applejack.

Now we can say that even our great state’s governor supports Old Hampshire! Do you? Be sure to sign our online petition to help make Applejack the official booze of New Hampshire!

Why make Old Hampshire Applejack the official spirit of the state of New Hampshire?

Well, for starters, it’s a distilled version of New Hampshire’s state drink, apple cider. The apple-based spirit encapsulates New Hampshire’s past, including its agricultural heritage — the result is a true taste of Old Hampshire past and New Hampshire present.

…And our governor says it tastes good! 😉

At Tamworth Distilling, we firmly believe in honoring the land around us and producing only the finest spirits with the quality ingredients that land provides — it’s a part of our scratch made mission, and one of our guiding principles. Eau de Musc is no different. We want to assure you that beavers were not killed in the name of whiskey. We work with Anton, a beaver trapper who is called in by NH state to remove a specific number of beavers in order to restore balance. A lack of natural predators means the beaver population is increasing at high rates, and forming ecosystems where people are already terraforming — thus becoming a threat to local areas and businesses.

There are several control techniques that are put in place by New Hampshire’s Fish and Game wildlife department. In certain cases, beaver trapping is the only option that can be performed in order to resolve pressing issues in the area. Beaver trapping is performed as a last resort when cultural control, water control, and avoidance fail.

We New Englanders take pride in re-using and recycling whenever the opportunity presents itself. In the case of Eau de Musc, we wanted to make sure to source our castoreum responsibly. Anton uses every part of the animal, like any good trapper. The fur is sold, the meat is eaten, and some of the castor sacs are used as bait. We use the leftover castor sacs to create this unique product. We exercise responsible practices every day in the production of each and every one of our spirits, and use what is made available to us by the land. Never intrusive and never wasteful. That’s our promise. Cheers!

The beaver sac spirit is an idea that came from a funny place. As we build recipes, each one has to be reviewed by the TTB (previously ATF). This is common practice and generally bases the acceptance of these formulas on FDA certified ingredients. So if all ingredients land on the FDA generally recognized as safe list, the formula should pass. The generally recognized as safe list (GRAS) is actually pretty small, especially when you are in the exploratory phase of spirits. There are a few really odd ingredients that make it on there and castoreum is one of them. Another example is red coloring  ‘carmine’ from the cochineal beetle.

The information on this old-timey ‘natural flavoring’ sparked some intrigue and further discovery of the castoreum’s use as a spirit ingredient. The sac excretion exhibits bright and fruitful qualities, as well as rich leathery notes, along with a creamy vanilla aroma. These notes are also very common among barrel-aged spirits, so a natural progression took place. From that structure came the addition of woodsy aroma: Birch oil, wild ginger, and fir needles. They are a great way to link the oak barrel components (vanilla, caramel, spice) to the Beaver’s contribution.

In the search for castoreum, Tamworth Distilling found Anton. Anton is a beaver trapper and often gets called in by the state to remove beavers. Beavers are also extremely territorial, making relocation of beavers extremely difficult. So Anton, like all good trappers, uses every part of the animal. The fur is sold, the meat is eaten and the castor sacs are used as lures for future trapping bait. This source of New Hampshire beavers makes for a responsible market practice.

The most interesting part of this unusual spirit is how familiar it is. While the idea of beaver sac may conjure anticipation of odd flavors and sharp aromas, the reality is castoreum acts to fortify good whiskey flavors. The vanilla nose is underscored with the addition of spice from the birch oil and wild ginger. Wild ginger, or Canadian Snakeroot, has a woody spice much like common ginger, but offers floral (almost perfumey) qualities. These piquancy notes circle around to raspberry, which is also added to comingle with the castor sac’s natural fruitiness.

Rich and fuller bodied than expected from a 2-year bourbon, this whiskey has a bolstered mouthfeel from the ingredients. Dry, smoky spice with fleeting hints of fresh-cracked boughs and mint that open up to reveal rustic-sweet sensations of wet hay, vanilla, wood sugar, and saddle leather interspersed by waves of red fruit. This raspberry aroma fits nicely with the fruit notes of a sweet bourbon. Warmth and spice finish out the first sip, where oils act to lengthen the finish. The finish structure all coming from those deeper qualities of birch oil, oak, ginger, and leather.

Ingredients: aged bourbon, beaver castor, raspberry, Canadian snakeroot, fir needles, birch bark (tar oil & regular oil), maple syrup

Spirit Type: Flavored Whiskey

Base: Straight bourbon whiskey

ABV: 44% abv (88 proof)

Bottle Size: 200ml

Available now at Tamworth Distilling!

Many local traditons are born from the seasonal programing of Remick Farm Museum. This cultural tie to Tamworth’s past includes a yearly event called Ice Harvest, a time when ice was cut and pulled behind draft horses to an ice shed, to be used for refridgeration into the summer months. Ice, once a major export of NH, remains a strong connection to Tamworth’s history. Two other such seasonal Remick offerings are Maple Weekend and Dandelion Festival; forming the ingredient inspiration for AITA Dandejack. We set to honor the spring alongside our neighbors, with a applejack that utilizes the 100% New Hampshire apples, flavored with the woody bitterness of dandelion root and the sweet and warm Maple Syrup to balance. We use Maple syrup from Remick Farm Museum’s maple weekend (our neighbors from across the street). It is safe to say, this is a classic Tamworth treat.

The intent was to showcase how the under-celebrated botanical Dandelion could influence the applejack class. Based around our Maplejack, this recipe adds some more complexity to the mix. Some of the darker barrel notes are thinned with clear apple brandy to open the overall spirit up to fill Dandelion and a little Chicory root to give bitter woody structure. The bitter then hinges on the sweet, giving a deeper appreciation for their roll in the applejack. This duet effect is often exploited by confectioners and candy makers, who use a bit of gentian to candy to prolong the depth of character.

Both aged apple brandy (over a year and a half in a new char oak barrel) as well as the crisp flavor of clear apple eau de vie (a fresh distillate considered the ‘water of life’ or essence of the fruit) are used to balance the bitter roots and sweet syrup.

The aroma of rich dark grade syrup and a sugarshack is on the nose, with baked apple following up. Warm mulled cider lay under the first impression. The first sip gives little heat, partially due to the lower proof (35%abv) and partially to the coating nature of the applejack.  A grounding sensation from the dandelion root and chicory root give a boldness to the flavored brandy. Chicory root, still used as coffee-like substitute, blends well with the darker clove and caramel components of the barrel aged spirit. The pronounced fruit and floral EDV add more top notes to the experience. Overall, the first sip conjures apple lollipop and caramel apple flavors. Bites of a fresh apple coupled with maple candy.