The story of Monkey47 is that of Montgomery Collins, who was posted in Berlin’s British sector after the end WWII. He was struck by the massive destruction that had taken place there and he decided to spend his time helping to rebuild it. His focus was the Berlin Zoo, where he became sponsor of a monkey called Max.
He left the air force in the early 50s, to start a career in watchmaking. This turned out not be his calling, but he found himself in the Black Forest (Schwarzwald), a great natural area where he not only opened a guesthouse called “The Wild Monkey”, but also started making his own gin. He was British after all.
Montgomery kept the recipe a secret, hidden in a box in his guesthouse, which was discovered some 50 years later. It was decorated with the drawing of a monkey and the words “Max the monkey – Schwarzwalder Dry Gin”. In 2008 the recipe was restored and brought to market.
Lovely soft smell of juniper and lemon, slightly peppery and with floral notes.
All the flavours come to life in your mouth, very well balanced and although there are some main flavours to identify, the 47 different botanicals are working together so well that it’s difficult to identify each individual.
Schweppes: The delicate palate of Monkey47 does not match very well with the dominant flavours of Schweppes. Both the strong sweetness and the long bitterness in the tonic just overpower the gin. I stopped tasting there.
Fever Tree: This is a great combination: the soft citric notes and the juniper in Monkey47 stay upright because of the light flavour of Fever Tree. This tonic water has a subtle bitterness in it and it balances out very nicely with the sweet and floral notes in the gin. The mix is very smooth and I like it how many of the different berries in Monkey47 create a wonderful fruity flavour in here.
Fentiman’s: There’s a lot of citric notes in this mix and there’s an overlap in ingredients that Money47 and Fentiman’s are using: Kaffir lime. Together the sweeter and fruity notes work very well, giving it a very long aftertaste. The more floral notes in the gin, like Jasmin and Chamomile, are highlighted in the mix with Fentiman’s.
Conclusion: Both the Fever Tree and the Fentiman’s work great with Monkey47, which is a very well balanced yet delicate gin. I have given both mixes the same rating, but notice that the are not the same mixes at all! But I just like both combinations equally much