Following the global acclaim of our beaver castoreum-infused whiskey, Eau de Musc, we’re excited announce our next incredible experiment in the “House of Tamworth” line: Lait de Romalea. Our 90-proof bourbon whiskey is infused with the foam (or milk) excreted as a defense mechanism from the Easter Lubber grasshopper. The result is a surprisingly delightful bourbon with a unique floral, rosy, and fruity nose and plum, berry, and subtle tobacco notes on the palate.
Lait de Romalea is the result of our continued experimentation with unusual flavor sources. In this case, it’s the brown, Skoal-like exudate of the Eastern Lubber grasshopper. The romalea exudate is extracted through a process similar to how snakes are milked for anti-venom, where tactile stimulation of the abdomen with the thumb and forefinger elicits the secretion discharge.
“Working at the chemical level, we found that this malodorous stuff is composed of a type of molecule that is a precursor to the ones that give roses (and bourbon) their deep, enriching scent. To unlock this pleasant quality, the grasshopper foam is first milked, then fermented with wilted tea leaves, whose enzymes prep the smelly substance for an acidic distillation that completes the chemical rearrangement.”
“The final product is the desirable aroma molecule, beta-damascenone. The result is infused in our bourbon to create a super charged aromatic note,” explains our lead distiller and resident chemist, Matt Power.
After the exudate is extracted and fermented with black tea leaves, the liquid is refluxed in acidic ethanol to instill the final chemical rearrangements prior to infusion. At this point, the dehydrated extraction is infused into our signature bourbon and is ready for consumption.
Get ready, this springtime spirit hits our shelves early next week!