The folks at Tamworth Distilling live for turning notions of what goes into a distilled spirit upside down. These are the very people who brought us The House of Tamworth collection that features spirits infused with the seemingly the execrable flavors of beaver castor gland extract and the infamous corpse flower. To expand their portfolio beyond their more eccentric quafs and the more conventional offerings of gin and vodka, Tamworth turned to a unique tie to their New Hampshire history: the Nansen Ski Club. This club was the “it” place to be in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Beyond holding the superlative of “The Oldest Ski Club in America,” Nansen rose to fame in 1937 with the construction of the tallest ski jump in the United States, even hosting the 1938 Olympic trials. In 1988, the jump fell into disrepair, and was finally restored in 2015. Though the jump (“The Big Nansen”) fell in and out of use, the club has continually operated since 1872. As the club was founded by Nordic settlers, Tamworth was inspired to craft something that likely would have been enjoyed post-slopes to warm cold bodies and kick off a proper “apres ski” experience: the traditional Scandinavian liqueur Aquavit.
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It isn’t harsh, which is good for a 4 year old, but that’s likely due to the low proof. Wolf Moon is best suited for sipping while hanging around and burning it down, and you don’t want to sip on any Jack Daniels. The type of whiskey you pour over ice in a solo cup around a bonfire, hanging out at the lake, or knocking back on a muddy tailgate.
The price is a tough sell for me but the bourbon itself is exceptional. It certainly reminds me of one of my all-time favorite expressions (Elijah Craig) and when I had my boyfriend taste it he asked, “Is this Elijah Craig?” It is fitting, as the proximity to Elijah Craig’s Scott County homestead (“close enough to throw a nerf football and hit the front door”) is what originally inspired one of the co-founders to launch a bourbon brand. Though the source of the bourbon is kept under wraps, it was expertly chosen. The folks from Blue Run – a diverse crowd from tech to marketing to politics – recognized themselves as industry outsiders and lacked the sophisticated palate required to select an exceptional bourbon, not to mention optimal proof. So they brought in an industry veteran with proven bourbon chops to thumbs up or down their barrel selections.
Jefferson’s has done it again and just in time for the holidays! Never was there a more perfect release that pairs perfectly with Thanksgiving dinner. The gentle tartness of the palate will blend perfectly with the salinity of a well-brined turkey, and especially one with a crisp, fried skin. Not a meat eater? Not to fear, Jefferson’s Ocean Spray also complements the nutty/salty flavor circus of a traditional green bean casserole, and even helps cut the sweetness of a marshmallow-topped sweet potato dish. Regardless of your favorite Thanksgiving side, Jefferson’s Ocean Spray is its best liquid companion. This release gleans its versatility in flavor from long days bobbing gently atop the bog waters, receiving only gentle nudges from both cranberry harvesters and the Massachusetts crisp air alike.