Steven Grasse, founder of Tamworth Distilling, has been in the gin game for almost three decades. He’s credited with creating the Hendrick’s Gin brand and managed its global growth since 1999.
“It literally started the craft gin category. And it was the first gin to push the boundaries on what a gin could be, with rose and cucumber,” he says.
But he is ready to make magic strike twice with his newest endeavor, Tamworth Distilling. Located in Tamworth, NH, the gin is focused on local ingredients through an interesting technique: Foraging.
“[We are] pushing the boundaries of esoteric flavor profiles using natural foraged ingredients found in a remote mountain setting. The resulting gins are deliberately rare and limited,” Grasse says.
He notes that the local ingredients are a huge reason why this gin has seen success. Not only is it made with locally-grown, fresh product (“The fresh stuff ends up smelling the best,” he says), but the brand is able to tailor its harvest times for weather, process and off-flavors. It also can create formulas that work with the uniqueness of the land, giving sippers something they can’t get anywhere else.
“I, personally, love our native pine resin for our Apiary Gin. We couldn’t buy it if we tried. Finding it is witchcraft, but smelling it is bliss,” Grasse says.
Tamworth’s portfolio of gins is impressive, to say the least. They include a spruce garden gin; wild hops gin; Thai chili gin; damson gin; White Mountain gin; Apiary gin; Dutchess gin; and its flora gin, which also comes in a barrel reserve. Each of these is crafted with purpose; and each explores a diverse suite of adjunct aromatics.
“With our gins, we want to boldly go where no other gins have gone before. We are returning to the category’s alchemistical roots,” notes Grasse.
But, it’s not just gin, either. Tamworth has several other sippers that embody the native spirit of the land its on, including its Deerslayer venison whiskey and its White Mountain vodka, which is made with all local grains that have been milled, distilled, and bottled in Tamworth.
“Our goal is to occupy the highest end of the craft luxury market. Our Old Man of the Mountain Bourbon has already been named one of the best bourbons outside of Kentucky,” says Grasse. “We are only getting started on this journey. It’s quite exciting.”