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If you are the type of person who shops by looking at the labels, you probably already have a bottle of Monkey 47 Gin in your bar because the label design, combined with the apothecary-style bottle, makes for a very eye-catching presentation. It immediately stands out from other gins on the shelf and, fortunately, it also stands out when it comes to flavor. There are 47 botanicals in this gin – hence the name, Monkey 47 – and it almost seems like they all come through when you take a sip. It is impressively complex, with a balance of sweetness, bitterness and a clean, dry acidity.
They say that the recipe for this gin was developed in German’s Black Forest, by Britsh Air Force Wing Commander Montgomery Collins, who used a unique blend of botanicals to develop his own gin to serve at his “Wild Monkey” guesthouse, and it was served from the 1950s through the 1970s. These days, the gin is produced in a more regimented method than the original nuts n’ berries strategy, though they say that the recipe is firmly grounded in its original roots. The gin is floral and citrusy, with a subtle peppery spice to it that comes on strong and fades away quickly, leaving you with a clean forest flavor. It is made with both cranberries and lingonberries, though you won’t see either represented in the color of the gin. They just add yet another layer of complex fruitiness to an already complex spirit. The gin is completely unique, so I can confidently say that you’ve probably never had anything like it before.
Worth another round? As much as I love gin, I have to say that this gin might not be for everyone. That said, I am really only saying that because I want to save more for myself, as I really enjoy it. The sharp botanicals really invigorate your palate in a way that not every gin does, and it goes down incredibly smoothly. All these factors combine to make this an excellent sipping gin because you’ll taste something new every single time that you take a sip. It also makes a wonderfully complex gin and tonic – but take care to use quality tonic with this gin, not the cheap stuff.