Talk about a fishy bottle of booze.
Tamworth Distilling, a producer of spirts based in Tamworth, N.H., is set to release a brandy flavored with smoked trout. Called House of Tamworth Saison De Frai — the French words translate roughly as “spawning season” — the booze is billed by distillery founder Steven Grasse as a way to extend the company’s commitment to crafting “wilderness-inspired flavors.”
The brandy, which is being made in limited quantities, goes on sale Nov. 17 and costs $65 for a 200-ml bottle.
Tamworth Distilling is indeed known for its unusual releases. In the past, it has offered a venison-flavored whiskey called Deerslayer and a crustacean-flavored bourbon dubbed Crab Trapper. But there’s a serious purpose behind these oddball spirits, said Grasse — namely, it’s about “honoring and preserving the wilds of New England.”
Specifically, in the case of the trout-flavored brandy, the distillery said it’s about calling attention to the declining population of Brook trout, which happens to be the New Hampshire state freshwater fish. The distillery said $1 from each sale of Saison De Frai will support Trout Unlimited, a non-profit group that aims to keep waterways safe from environmental threats.
“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.
So, how do you make a trout-flavored brandy? Tamworth Distilling said it begins the process by taking smoked trout and turning it into a distillate using a large rotary vacuum. From there, it combines that distillate with its own apple brandy. The resulting spirit has an “aroma profile of apple with bits of maple, smoke, oak and a hint of river funk,” according to the distillery. Taste-wise, there’s a hint of trout, naturally, the distillery added.
To add to the trout-y appeal, each bottle also includes a “small scoop” of trout roe: Think fish eggs floating in your brandy.
While it may all sound a bit gimmicky, there’s some history behind such unusual booze. In Mexico, there’s pechuga, a style of mezcal that can be flavored with meat (including turkey), fruit, nuts and spices. And in Rhode Island, the Industrious Spirits Company, a local distillery, has come up with a vodka made with fresh-farmed oysters.