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Spirit Tales - Monkey 47

A new chapter in the history of Gin - London Dry Gin made in Germany's ancient Black Forest...Watch this little documentary about the production of Monkey 47 Gin.

Partial transcription:

"Our story begins in the 1950s. Following his childhood as the son of a Diplomat in Madras and a career in the British Air Force, love draws Wing Commander Montgomery Collins to an isolated valley in the Black Forest where he takes over the Wild Monkey guest house. Here, he becomes acquainted with the great Black Forest tradition of distilling fruit and - out of a longing for his own British passions - develops a special Gin which becomes the trademark of the Wild Monkey right through to the 1970s.

"Four decades later, this historical episode was to fundamentally change the life of Alexander Stein who himself came from a family of distillers.

(Comments from Alexander Stein)

"Gin is usually a combination of spirits distilled from herbs and fruits, and nowhere else in the world you will find the wealth of distilling expertise and centuries of experience that there is in southern Germany. This is where the world most renowned distillers work and where traditional copper smiths build the best distilleries. Access to fresh ingredients of the highest quality is virtually unlimited, and the Black Forest water sourced from deep sandstone springs is one of the softest and mildest waters in Europe.

(Alexander Stein tells how he was looking for a Master Distiller, when he read about a "moody looking chap with a full beard" - Christoph Keller, one of the world's finest distillers, who produces legendary fruit brandies...)

"The idea was born: Montgomery Collins’ Black Forest Dry Gin was to be reborn as a master quality Gin with floral notes, the freshness of tiny citrus fruits, a clear juniper tone and a peppery spicy mouth-feel and a subtle hint of cranberrries to give it that je ne sais quoi. Produced exclusively by hand using traditional distilling method and 100% fresh plant ingredients and maried with the fresh water of the Black Forest. After two years of development they chose the one recipe that embodied the idea of the Gin, a classic Dry Gin interpreted in an entirely new way, the Gin that we've always wish for.

"The name says it all; exactly 47 different plant ingredients found their way for the Monkey 47 recipe, a recipe that is naturally a carefully kept secret, known only to Alexander Stein and his distiller Christoph Keller. The selection and quality of the raw ingredients is of crucial importance. In keeping with classic British tradition the freshly ground ingredients are placed in warm French molasses alcohol and macerated for 36 hours, or one day and two nights. But even after distillation, Black Forest Dry Gin is a long way from being finished. Only when it's been stored for three months in traditional earthenware and married with the extremely soft water of it's own Black Forest spring, does the distilate develop a matchless harmony and mellowness that make Monkey 47 an absolute pleasure - either in a mixed drink or just on his own."

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