A very unusual German gin made in the mysterious Black Forest region. The story of this gin starts back at the end of World War II, when RAF Wing Commander Montgomery Collins was given a tour of the British Sector of post-war Berlin. Troubled by the destruction he saw, he devoted himself to rebuilding the Berlin Zoo, sponsoring an egret monkey named Max. After leaving the Air Force in 1951, “Monty” moved to the Black Forest to learn watch-making, something he had no talent for. Giving up this pursuit, he instead founded a guesthouse called “the Wild Monkey”- with Max in mind. Here he combined the black forest reputation for fruit liquors with his own preference for gin, creating Schwarzwald Dry Gin, which grew to become the essential spirit of the guest house until its closure in the 1970s.
Alex Stein, founder of Monkey 47, was told the story by a friend, and became obsessed with creating a Black Forest gin, flavoured with local botanicals to honour the RAF officer. Stein met Christoph Keller, famous for his high quality fruit brandies, and the two embarked on creating a wonderful Black Forest gin. Monkey 47 is a reference both to Max and the Wild Monkey, but also the 47 different botanicals used to create this gin (and its 47% ABV!) The gin gets its distinctive “black forest feel” from local ingredients such as fresh cranberry and lingonberry. As such, Monkey 47 is an incredibly complex gin, best enjoyed in simple cocktails like the Martini and G&T. One of the very best gins on the market, with one of the best stories around.