What’s shakin, cocktail fans?
Welcome to Episode 233 of The Modern Bar Cart Podcast! I’m your host, Eric Kozlik.
Thanks for joining me for this interview episode, where we track down the best and brightest minds in the spirits and cocktail world so that we can share their secrets with you.
This time around, I chat with distiller Matt Power of Tamworth Distilling, located in idyllic Tamworth New Hampshire. Now, if you’re a regular listener, you’ve probably heard me chat with distillers before. So you might be thinking: what’s so special about this Matt Power fella?
Well you see, Matt has a background in biochemistry, and he’s not afraid to use it. The theme of our conversation is the various ways in which he’s used meat and other off-beat ingredients to flavor different whiskeys in the “House of Tamworth” collection. We’re talking venison-flavored whiskey, Thanksgiving Dinner flavored whiskey, Beaver gland flavored whiskey, and more.
In this flavorful conversation with distiller Matt Power of Tamworth Distilling, some of the topics we cover include:
- How the “House of Tamworth” series began as a research initiative designed to understand what the FDA considers “acceptable” flavoring ingredients, and snowballed into a passion project highlighting uncommon or underappreciated flavors and aromas.
- Why the “flavored whiskey” category has developed a slightly sub-par reputation, and what Matt and his team are doing to elevate this category.
- How Matt employs some serious technology – namely, a rotary evaporator – to isolate flavors and aromas from nature and infuse those compounds into their spirits in a very strategic way.
- We also sample the “Deerslayer” whiskey from the House of Tamworth collection, which was inspired partially by a german fermented sausage dish and partially by the aromas of hardwood smoke that you’ll smell wafting on the breeze during a New Hampshire winter.
- Along the way, we cover other important topics like maple syrup infused with dead people, the seductive stink of the Corpse Flower, strategies for combatting invasive green crabs, and much, much more.
This interview will be a real delight for anyone who’s interested in the cutting edge of flavor design in the spirits industry. This space is exciting to me because anyone who dwells here isn’t so much interested in what a spirit IS – for example the technical differences between rum and cachaca or Cognac and Armagnac – but rather what a spirit CAN BE.
By passing his technical understanding of organic compounds through the lenses of flavor, place, and memory, Matt is able to build spirits that transport you to a remote deer camp, or a Thanksgiving table, or even a steamy encounter of the most intimate variety.
This, to me, is where flavor blurs into art. This is what the team at Tamworth Distilling does best. And this is why I’m so excited to share with you this fascinating conversation with distiller and flavor architect Matt Power.