Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin 500ml

Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin 500ml

  • Dry Gin
  • England, 700ml

For many, this is the best gin in the world. Very attractive nose with typical London Dry characters with some slight spicy notes. Crisp and fresh on the nose and equally so in the mouth. Some tangy notes in the mouth add extra freshness to the traditional characters. Fairly complex. Good balance of all components and racy, fresh finish.

  • Distillery: Black Forest Distillers
  • Type: London Dry Gin
  • Region: Germany
  • Alcohol: 47%
  • Volume: 500ml
  • Goes with: Ice, premium tonic, fresh citrus (orange peel) and/or thyme or rosemary garnish

The story of Monkey 47 is attributed to an Indian born British Commander who was stationed in Germany after the second world war. Inspired by the Black Forest through the lens of his family’s heritage he combined British influence, Indian botanicals, and the natural flora of the German forest to create a complex gin he called Schwarzwald Dry Gin, along with the note Max the Monkey. A staggering 47 handpicked plant ingredients prepared in extremely soft water from the Black Forest lend Monkey 47 unrivalled complexity and quality.

The captivating tale of Monkey 47 begins with the remarkable life of Wing Commander Montgomery ('Monty') Collins, a true British eccentric who possessed a love for watches, a passion for cricket, an adventurous spirit, and a penchant for globe-trotting. Born in 1909 in Madras, a British Indian province, Collins hailed from a diplomatic family, a detail that would become significant later on in the story. Let us fast forward a few years to the aftermath of the Second World War when Collins, fluent in five languages including German, found himself stationed in Berlin, administering the British sector.

Witnessing the profound devastation inflicted upon Berlin by the allied bombings deeply impacted Collins, strengthening his resolve to contribute to the city's reconstruction efforts in his free time. His dedication led him to sponsor and form a deep attachment to an egret monkey named Max, residing in the ruins of the Berlin Zoo.

In 1951, Collins bid farewell to Berlin and embarked on a new adventure in the northern Black Forest region, attempting his hand at watchmaking. Discovering his skills in the craft were less than exceptional, Collins, driven by his enduring fondness for Max the monkey, decided to open a countryside guesthouse in his honor. He aptly named it 'Zum wilden Affen' ('The Wild Monkey'). Being a true Brit, Collins found himself yearning for a splendid glass of gin, which would ultimately spark a grand plan.

Although this tale doesn't provide further details about the Commander, it resumes its course in the 1960s during the renovation of Zum wilden Affen. As the guesthouse was being cleared out, a wooden box was unearthed in the basement. Within its dusty confines lay a bottle of Collin's own-brand gin, accompanied by sketches of a monkey labeled 'Max the Monkey' and a letter. The letter contained a stroke of good fortune—a list of the gin's ingredients.

The third character to enter this narrative, alongside Commander Collins and Max the monkey, is Alexander Stein, scion of the renowned Jacobi German brandy dynasty. His interest was piqued in 2006 upon learning about the discovery of the Commander's Black Forest gin recipe. In late 2008, Stein left his position at Nokia and returned to his homeland of Baden-Württemberg in Germany's Black Forest, determined to recreate Collins' gin.

Establishing Black Forest Distillers GmbH, Stein devoted himself to refining the recipe for his new gin. True to the brand's name, Montgomery Collins' Black Forest Dry Gin encompasses a staggering array of 47 botanicals. Collins drew inspiration from his childhood in India, incorporating spices such as cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, almond, ginger, Ceylon cinnamon, liquorice, and Acorus calamus. Additionally, tangy notes were introduced through the combination of bitter orange and lemon balm.

One-third of the ingredients were meticulously handpicked from the Black Forest itself, sourced literally from Collins' own backyard. This distinctive gin boasts unconventional flavors, including spruce tips, lingonberries, blackberries, elderflower, blackthorn, bramble leaves, sloes, sage, and verbena.

After careful selection and refinement of the 47 diverse ingredients, Stein embarked on the arduous task of analyzing various proportions through over 120 trial distillations, resulting in seven distinct yet promising gins. These samples were shared with renowned bartenders, seeking their invaluable opinions to perfect the final recipe for Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin.

  • Gold - 2011 World Spirits Award
  • Winner - Drinks International 'The Worlds 50 Best Bars Trending Gin Brands' - Ranking 1st
  • Gold - International Wine and Spirits Competition, London
  • 95/100 Points - Guia Penin
  • 95/100 Points - CellarTracker
  • 93/100 Points - Falstaff

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