There is nothing fishy about House of Tamworth Saison De Frai – a smoked trout brandy asking anglers to “Leave keepers in the river. Keep trout in your glass.”
Steven Grasse and Tamworth Distilling, the makers of famed wilderness-inspired spirits such as Eau De Musc, The Deerslayer Whiskey, and Crab Trapper, are once again pushing boundaries with bold choices of flavor. The 2023 Food & Wine Drinks Innovator of the Year didn’t go far for the inspiration behind his newest innovation. Grasse’s rural New Hampshire distillery, located at the foothills of the White Mountains, butts right up to the picturesque Swift River, which is home to a dwindling population of wild Brook Trout, the New Hampshire state fish.
“I was enjoying a glass of Tamworth Garden VSOP Apple Brandy and watching the anglers fly fish in the backyard of the distillery and I started thinking about how we could follow the viral sensation that was Crab Trapper,” said Grasse. “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.”
House of Tamworth Saison De Frai – Smoked Trout Flavored Brandy joins The House of Tamworth lineup of rare and evocative limited-release spirits and available now! $1 from each bottle sold will benefit Trout Unlimited and their mission of keeping our country’s cold-water fisheries and their watersheds safe from environmental threats for this and future generations of anglers to enjoy. It also supports the distillery’s quest to care for, and recover, the Swift River and restore its thriving population of wild and native trout.
“Unfortunately, neither the status of native trout nor their habitat is secure. 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,” said Randy Ouellette, Vice Chair of the Trout Unlimited New Hampshire State Council. “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.”
House of Tamworth Saison De Frai starts out as a distillate made from sustainably farmed smoked and brined Riverence Trout. The smoked trout is infused with brandy and is then distilled on Tamworth’s large rotary vacuum still until the ideal smoked trout essence is achieved. That trouty tipple is then blended with the distillery’s acclaimed Tamworth Garden VSOP Apple Brandy (aged at least 4 years) which is made from heirloom New Hampshire apples grown at one of the oldest active orchards in the United States. This unique combination creates an aroma profile of apple with bits of maple, smoke, oak, and a hint of river funk that presents a flavor of sweet maple and apple on the front, with just a hint of trout at the end. This culminates in what Grasse describes as the “perfect embodiment of New Hampshire terroir.”
Each bottle of Saison De Frai is topped with a small scoop of trout roe that has been carefully preserved in apple brandy, adding an exciting visual element to the liquid — similar to tapioca pearls in bubble tea. The roe imparts additional fresh trout flavor into the brandy and although the egg husks are completely edible, they have completed their role by the time the bottle is cracked open for consumption. The bottles are adorned with a trout shaped label and a hand-tied Royal Coachman Hookless Practice Fly, making it the perfect gift for any avid angler.
“Our distillery was built and operates fully in accordance with the land — not against it. We only take what we can give back, and we craft our spirits with intentional methods that promote both the longevity and improved health of the environment that we revere so intently. It’s these values that end up defining which processes we utilize in creating our spirits, instead of the other way around,” said Grasse. “So, what started as a funny idea with a unique flavor profile ended up being a launchpad in the conversation about why maintaining wild fish populations is an important cog in the wheel of conservation efforts.”
House of Tamworth Saison De Frai (90 proof, 200 ml, $65) is available in limited quantities while supplies last online and at Tamworth Distilling in New Hampshire. The spirit is available now for presale and will be celebrated with an exclusive first taste at a Wilds of New England dinner, November 16, in collaboration with Elwood Chef Adam Diltz. The 2022 James Beard Award Semifinalist will be serving up his famed antler-pierced venison scrapple with House of Tamworth Deerslayer Venison whiskey, Beaver Stew alongside Eau De Musc — Tamworth’s beaver castoreum flavored bourbon whiskey, and the Saison De Frai will be accompanied by Riverence Trout with brown butter and pumpkin. Interested diners are encouraged to make a reservation via elwoodrestaurant.com, limited seats are available for $75 per person (plus tax and gratuity).
“Working on environmental projects definitely changes it for me because it becomes an educational standpoint too. It’s not just like, “Here, drink this liquor.” It’s like, “Here, think about this liquor.” Said Will Robinson, distiller at Tamworth Distilling. “It’s not just consumption. It’s consumption with some thought. I hope this brandy impacts people in a way that it reminds them that global warming and conservation is not an out-there issue. It’s a right here in your backyard in the river that flows right there issue.”
For a video highlighting Tamworth Distilling’s unique approach with Saison De Frai – and for more information about the importance of fresh water conservation, please visit this LINK.
ABOUT TAMWORTH DISTILLING
Tamworth Distilling is a craft distillery, founded and owned by liquor brand savant Steven Grasse, that focuses on creating truly one-of-a-kind, small-batch spirits that reflect the flora and fauna of lush Tamworth, New Hampshire. All ingredients used in the production of spirits are farmed or foraged within 150 miles of the distillery. In addition to showcasing local and natural ingredients, the brand highlights prominent historical American events, figures, and notable geography; including figures such as Henry David Thoreau, and landmarks including New Hampshire’s famed Old Man of the Mountain.
Since the turn of the 20th century, Tamworth, New Hampshire has been a haven for artists, writers, thinkers, and innovators – from Henry James and E.E. Cummings to President Grover Cleveland. Grasse set up his distillery in accordance with the land around it, not against it. Taking a cue from the 19th century Transcendentalists of New England, Tamworth Distilling pulls its inspiration from the surrounding atmosphere, their recipes from the crops they grow, and the histories buried in the soil below. The distillery has recently been celebrated by FOOD & WINE as a 2023 Drinks Innovator of the Year.
Tamworth Distilling | 15 Cleveland Hill Road, Tamworth, NH | 603.323.7916
About Trout Unlimited:
Founded in Michigan in 1959, Trout Unlimited today is a national non-profit organization with 300,000 members and supporters dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. Our staff and volunteers work from coast to coast to protect, reconnect, restore, and sustain trout and salmon habitat on behalf of today’s anglers and coming generations of sportsmen and women who value the connection between healthy, intact habitat and angling opportunity.
Riverence is a vertically integrated rainbow trout and steelhead producer that carefully manages the entire process from egg to distribution to ensure the highest level of control possible. We produce our premium ASC-certified trout in southern Idaho using crystal-clear spring water in land-based farms, which means no escapes and a minimal impact on the local environment. We feel compelled to take care of our precious water resource and to do more with less while providing premium USA-produced seafood.
What We Produce:
Riverence produces premium USA rainbow trout and steelhead fillets as well as whole fish for food service and retail markets. We also hand craft specialty products that include our smoked rainbow trout fillets and the world’s finest trout roe using only natural ingredients.