If there’s one thing the folks at Tamworth Distilling in New Hampshire know best, it’s concocting unique spirits that incorporate flavors of the outdoors into each bottle. A few months back, our team caught wind of House of Tamworth’s Crab Trapper Whiskey—a bourbon-based whiskey that was infused with a stock made from invasive green crabs. After an office taste test of their saltwater-influenced Crab Trapper, we decided to try one of their sweetwater creations, Saison de Frai.
Saison de Frai is composed of Tamworth’s apple brandy as a base, which is then blended with a smoked trout distillate to give it a slightly fishy essence. Their goal in creating such a spirit is to shed light on habitat conservation for cold water trout species, specifically in the Swift River. Each bottle of the small-batch brandy is topped with a scoop of edible trout roe that is preserved in the booze, and a portion of sales are donated to Trout Unlimited to help reinforce their goal of safeguarding cold-water fisheries.
Upon breaking the seal of the 200mL bottle, the smokey scent is complimented by a gentle aroma of fresh apples. We poured Saison de Frai into tasting cups for the OTW crew, and the general consensus was that the brandy is fishy on the nose, but only lightly smokey with a smooth finish. It was a pleasant flavor that would be even more refreshing served over ice with a few dashes of aromatic bitters and a bourbon cherry or two; or from a chilled flask when bouncing between pools on your favorite trout stream. However you plan to enjoy Saison de Frai, just don’t forget to top it off with a generous scoop of trout roe from the bottom of the bottle.
Here’s what our taste testers had to say of Saison de Frai:
“It’s good, it tastes more smokey than trout-y. But it reminds me of the smoked trout that you’d have with bagels.” – Kevin Blinkoff
“To me, it tastes like brandy should; it doesn’t have too much of a trout flavor, but it’s there.” – Nick Cancelliere
“The roe is interesting, it’s almost like a chewy Nerd candy.” – Tommy Reilly
Overall, Saison de Frai is a tasty, lightly-smoked spirit that would be the perfect addition to any stream side cocktail or drift-boat trip. Otherwise, you can enjoy it at home on the rocks and let the delicate notes of apple and trout transport you to the rocky riverbeds of the northeast’s trout streams.
Here’s a toast to Saison de Frai, and preserving the cold-water creeks and little blue lines that make our northeast trout fisheries so special.
» Review: House of Tamworth Crab Trapper Whiskey