The very small town of Tamworth, NH contains a rather unique distillery. So before learning a little about gin no. 067, let’s discuss some of the other creations to come out of Tamworth Distilling. They make a very nice straight rye and an even better bottled in bond VSOP Apple Brandy. But, they also make a spirit called House of Tamworth Eau de Musc, which is whiskey infused with oil from the castor gland of locally trapped beaver. And if that isn’t enough for you, they also make a Corpse Flower Durian Brandy. This little treat, is kept under a glass dome with a sign that reads “Ask to Smell if you Dare…” I did of course, and it is definitely funky, kind of like stinky feet. So yup, if you want beaver glands and spirits that smell of rot, this is the place for you. Or you could go for some gin.
Of course Tamworth Distilling is not content to have a London Dry. Their White Mountain Gin contains three types of hops, Centennial, Citra, and Amarillo, to give it a more robust flavor than your average gin. They balance it out with coriander and lemon peel. And some of the botanicals they add to their gin grow in a small garden out behind the distillery. They have also produced a spruce gin, a damson gin, and Thai chili gin.
I visited the distillery on June 27, 2021. The property is beautiful and they have a tasting area set up down the hill behind the distillery along side a crystal clear brook. It is a beautiful spot to sit and sip some gin or some of the other curious spirits Tamworth has to offer. I sampled the barrel aged flora gin and the apiary gin. They also have their own Lyceum (which of course we think is a great idea) that hosts workshops, special tastings, and mixology classes.
I tasted the gin no. 067 neat at the distillery. The hops were the most notable flavor, but the gin finished with a slight hint of licorice coming from the coriander. At home, I poured it three ways, over ice, with tonic, and in a gimlet. The gin is complex enough to drink alone and though it has a high alcohol content, 96 proof, it drinks lighter than you might expect. Unfortunately, the gin doesn’t play well with lime. The earthiness of the hops fights with the citrus making the gimlet a little unpleasant. For a g&t it is enjoyable so long as you skip the lime, and I venture to guess it would make an interesting martini.
Tamworth spirits are not widely available, but can be found New Hampshire Wine and Liquor Outlets across the state. My suggestion is to pay a visit to the distillery and try a few of their unique creations that you may or may not want to have an entire bottle of. And of course while you are there buy some gin, because you always could use another bottle of gin. A bottle of the White Mountain Gin will cost you $45. And even though this gin has limited use in cocktails, it is a really enjoyable spirit when enjoyed in a simple preparation.