There are many details that make this dry gin so amazing, aside from its heavenly aromatic and smooth taste, of course. It is a small-batch gin made with spring water from the heart of the Black Forest in Germany and 47 fragrant botanicals. In 2014 Monkey 47 was voted the world’s number one gin, and when we gave it a try, we weren’t disappointed! Let’s take a closer look.
By Roxy Greeff
STEP 1 – THE BLACK FOREST
Montgomery ‘Monty’ Collins, with his adventurous spirit, took off to explore the deeps of the Black Forest in Germany in the ‘60s. He not only stumbled upon the incomparable taste of the spring water there, but also an abandoned country guest house. Inside he found a letter and a lonely wooden box, inside of which was a bottle emblazoned with the face of a monkey.
STEP 2 – THE BOTANICALS
The letter found alongside the box was inscribed with the name ‘Max the Monkey: Schwarzwald Dry Gin (later renamed by Monty as Zum Wilden Affen – The Wild Monkey). It also contained a list of 47 unique botanical ingredients including almonds, elderberries, English hawthorn, citrus, liquorice, chamomile, and spruce.
STEP 3 – DISTILLATION
As with any great find, Monty and his recipe were discovered by Black Forest Distillers, and they, in partnership with King Louie, Cheetah, Herr Nilsson and Miss Baker, distil this incredible gin using a percolation technique. This involves a steam extraction to foreground the delicate, balanced taste and aromas of Monkey 47.
STEP 4 – THE SECRET ROOM
In 2006 Alexander Stein, former manager of Nokia, got wind of an age-old gin recipe hiding away in the Black Forest. Upon arriving, he discovered that he was, in fact, a descendant of the mysterious letter-writer who left his recipe and the monkey-adorned bottle of gin behind in that fateful guest house. He immediately took inspiration from these discoveries and launched the distillation empire that is Black Forest Distillers GmbH.
STEP 4.7 – WELCOME TO SA
We’ve been waiting for you! Monkey 47 will be available at selected bars and for sale online at Norman Goodfellows for a limited time only. Customers will also be able to able to buy their own custom-made bottle of Monkey 47 on Monday 1 November, exactly 4 weeks and 7 days after its SA launch. Forty-seven 500 ml limited-edition bottles will be on sale for 47 hours.