gin no. 074 – Monkey 47 Schwarzwald Dry Gin

Although Ancestry DNA tells me I am mostly German, I have never set foot in Germany. As a result, I don’t have a great travel story to accompany this gin, well maybe a little travel story. I returned home to St. Louis for my birthday. Because of the pandemic, I hadn’t been home in about three years. To celebrate my birthday, my dad hosted a brunch and invited my godfather and my aunt who I hadn’t seen in years. They were very kind and gifted me a bottle of Monkey 47 which immediately was entered into the collection as gin no. 074. (As a number lover I like that it just happened to be 47 reversed, pure coincidence I assure you.)

Monkey 47 is a premium gin with a strong reputation. Its story is one of legend, tracing its roots to a mysterious bottle from the 1970’s and a note that was titled “Max the Monkey” along with a recipe. Recreated in 2010, the modern version of Monkey uses molasses as its base spirit and is distilled with 47 different hand picked botanicals, most of them sourced from Germany’s Black Forest. The most noticeable is lingonberry. It gives Monkey a unique fruity sweetness.

Other botanicals include: Acacia, Almond, Ambrette Seed, Angelica, Bee Balm, Black Pepper, Blackberry, Cardamom, Cassia, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander, Cranberry, Cubeb Pepper, Dog Rose, Elderflower, Ginger, Grains Of Paradise, Hawthorn Berries, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Lemongrass, Licorice, Makrut Lime Leaves, Marshmallow, Nutmeg, Orange, Orris, Pimento, Pomelo, Rose Hip, Rose Mallow, Sage, Sloe, Spruce Shoots, Sweet Flag

This is no doubt a complicated gin, and one that comes highly recommended by just about every serious gin taster. Even the most experienced palate will find something new and unique in Monkey. For purists, there might not be enough juniper. The contemporary style puts the other botanicals in the lead, but if you are a fan of modern gin, this is one you will want to have in your collection. It will set you back though. A 750 mL bottle runs $66.99 at the nearby Total Wine, but that’s less than $1.43 a botanical, so maybe it’s a good deal. If you try it after reading this, do me a favor and toast to Uncle Dennis!

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