The incredibly invasive green crabs are not only destroying beds of coastal seagrass in New England, but they’re the bane of fishermen whose shellfisheries are getting devoured by these aggressive creatures. With no natural predators and increasing temperatures of the sea, the green crabs are becoming more and more of a problem each year. And since there’s very little meat on these crustaceans, commercially selling them for food is not really a practical solution either.
As a way to cull these animals, which are simultaneously destructive to the ecosystem and fishing industries, Tamworth Distilling has found a way to decrease their impact while still utilizing their meat. With the help of a local trapper who caught thousands of these crabs, the New Hampshire-based distillery cooked them down to a stock, which was then distilled. Known for its Old Man of the Mountain Bourbon, Tamworth utilizes the same mashbill of 82.4% organic corn, 11% organic Maine rye, and 6.6% malted barley for its new spirit’s bourbon base, which is then steeped in a mixture of green crab and a signature 8-spice blend.
This unconventional process has given birth to Crab Trapper, a surprisingly delicious spirit that also sustainably finds a solution to lessen the green crab problem without eliminating the species entirely. The result is said to represent that of a low-country boil, giving a bouquet of vanilla, maple, and caramel, which heads into notes of cinnamon, clove, and allspice on the palate, with a distinct heat. As Tamworth founder Steven Grasse explains, it’s like a “briny and better Fireball.”
Crab Trapper is currently sold in 200mL bottles for $65 via Tamworth’s online store. Only a limited quantity of the flavored whiskey is being made available, so act fast.