Tamworth Distillery wins earns high honors in spirit awards

Beet receives Double Gold, Sweet Potato and Chicory both earn Gold


By Tom Eastman


TAMWORTH — Tamworth Distilling and Mercantile this week announced that all three of its inaugural Art in the Age infusions were honored at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

Art in the Age Beet Vodka earned a double gold, which indicates a unanimous decision by the judges that the spirit is worthy of the highest distinction. And both the Sweet Potato and Chicory Vodkas earned gold medals, reserved for truly excellent spirits without any flaws.

The spirits are distilled in Tamworth from a variety of native plants and grains. The base is an organic corn neutral grain spirit, to which the distillers add seasonal ingredients — preserving the fruits of the harvest in the form of an 80 proof spirit.

The beet vodka is made of beets, cranberries, apple pomace, honey, salt and tarragon. It is immediately striking for the beet’s rich, magenta color, which is backed up by the smooth, earthy taste that the roots are known for. The sweetness of the beet is underscored by the tartness of New Hampshire cranberries and pressed apple pomace. The addition of tarragon ties these two major fruit and vegetable components together, for a harmonious blend of savory and sweet.

The sweet potato vodka is grounded by caramel, butterscotch and vanillin notes from toasted white oak chips. The sweet potato pie-like qualities are derived from the addition of clove, maple syrup, and a touch of salt. Nearly all of the spirit’s sweetness is a function of the sweet potato itself, which holds up very well for a simple infusion in the distillery.

The chicory vodka was inspired by the history of roasted chicory root as a coffee substitute or filler. The roasted chicory offers a rich, “dark roast” note, which is balanced by the slightly bitter bite of dandelion. Hearty rye seeds provide a grainy aspect to the spirit, and cinnamon and maple syrup combine for a sweet finish.

All three infusions are available for purchase at Tamworth Distilling & Mercantile, as well as through online retailers Winfield Flynn (Sweet Potato, Beet) and Waverly Liquors (Chicory). The newest spirit in the series, Black Trumpet Blueberry Cordial, will be released this spring.

The distillery is owned by Steven Grasse of Quaker Mercantile of Philadelphia. The distillery was built in 2014 on the grounds of a wing of the Tamworth Inn to resemble a 200-year-old building, and is set next-door to the inn’s original main building, which QCM is restoring into a farm-to-table pub.

QCM also owns the Tamworth Lyceum, a general store that features concerts, including an upcoming show by Bennett & Perkins on Saturday at 7 p.m.

It also owns an 80-acre farm that in Tamworth that is used to provide fruits, grains and botanicals for the distillery.

For more information on the Art in the Age Infusions series, visit www.tamworthdistilling.com.


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