Monkey 47 gin review

Monkey 47 gin review


Botanical blast from the Black Forest

Our holidays this year by the Torridge and Fal estuaries  led to us sampling Low Water Dick and Tarquin’s SeaDog spirits, but we travelled a good deal further to be introduced to Monkey 47, and we have the very attentive bar staff of the Viking Or river boat to thank for the experience.

Having decided to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary by taking the seven day cruise up the Rhine to Amsterdam, we boarded the elegant cruiser in Basel around midday and ordered a G&T in the Aquavit Bar as we waited for lunch to arrive.  That was a Bombay Sapphire, but our witty waiter, Alfredo soon sussed we were gin enthusiasts and urged us to “try the 47.”

With an equal measure of tonic and lots of ice, the initial flavour from the battery of botanicals was as strong as the 47% ABV, but still managed to offer a rich texture with a lovely spicy finish.

“The experts say there are hints of pepper and citrus along with the juniper and different floral notes.  I’d say it is one of the most distinctively layered gins we’ve ever tried.”

Despite having been created in the heart of Bavaria under the German name for the area synonymous with gateaux  – Schwarzwald – Monkey 47 was actually the brainchild of an Englishman who had been brought up in Asia as the son of a diplomat.  Montgomery Collins opened a guest house called The Wild Monkey and adopted one called Max as well as helping rebuild the nearby zoo, before sourcing sufficient flowers, herbs and spices to distil something special.

Visually the day we sailed through the magnificent Rhine Gorge with its 30+ castles hanging off the rock faces was the highlight, but the epicure in me will definitely always look back fondly on eating some delicious meals on the sun-soaked front deck, sipping a Monkey 47 with my wonderful wife.

Monkey 47 can be found widely, at around £40 for a 50cl bottle.