Monkey 47 Distiller's cut

Monkey 47 Distiller’s Cut 2021

By Timo Torner / Last updated on August 25, 2022 
The original recipe for Monkey 47 Gin is amazingly complex and refined. But the mix of 47 botanicals has been upgraded with a new and exciting botanical in their Distiller's Cut from 2021.

Deep in the German Schwarzwald lies the cradle of Monkey 47. It is a rich and complex Gin that not only convinced Germans but fans all across the globe. 

Currently, it is by far the best-selling Gin from Germany, and one reason is the unusual complexity of the original Monkey 47 Gin.

Every year, the masters at the Monkey distillery bring something new to the market. In 2021, it was a Gin based on the traditional recipe but refined and tweaked to create something new and exciting - The Distiller's Cut. 

The Distiller's cut of Monkey 47 has a short yet celebrated tradition -the first one is from 2010. For the batch from back then, only 2,500 bottles of the limited version were available for sale.

In 2016, Monkey 47 decided to increase the number to 4,000 bottles. That gives more people the chance to get their hands on this sought-after rarity. -I have been among those lucky ones in 2021.

The new ingredient - Scarlet Monarda

With the 2020 Distiller's cut, there wasn't an additional ingredient. Instead, Monkey 47 decided to age their Gin in Mizunara oak. 

Mizunara oak barrels made of trees at least 150 years of age lend the Gin deep oaky notes making the taste of the Gin remarkably dry. 

For the 2021 Distiller's Cut, they went with a new and long-kept secret element: The 48th botanical, or the "species rara" as Monkey fondly calls it, is Scarlet Monarda. 

Monkey 47 Distiller's cut Bees Knees cocktail

As exotic as this botanical might sound, the Monarda Didyma (its Latin name) used in this year's Distiller's cut actually grows on a farmstead just around the corner of the Monkey 47 distillery. 

The herb, also known as bee balm or Oswego tea, comes from the lower parts of the Swabian Jura mountains. And it also grows in large parts of the US, mainly in the Northeast.

The aroma of Scarlet Monarda is unique and distinct, reminding me of a mix of mint, sage, and oregano, with the petals having a slightly milder scent.

The process

When it comes to special or limited editions of spirits, it's always fun to find out what has been done differently. 

You already know that Scarlet Monarda joined the list of ingredients. And you will find that only the precious and milder petals of the flower are used.

The Monarda petals get macerated together with the 47 traditional botanicals. After the process, the result gets distilled twice before it's left to age for three months. 

To finish the Gin and to bring it down to the desired level of alcohol, fresh spring water from the Black Forest is added.

The Taste of the 2021 Distiller's Cut

As you might know, Monkey 47 is a remarkably complex Gin. The original product already has an exciting flavor profile.

It starts with a fresh minty and herbal aroma, followed by notes of juniper, lavender, and rosemary. As the flavors develop, hints of pepper are detectable.

Overall, I find the Monkey 47 exceptionally well-balanced and crafted, which results in a unique taste.

For the limited 2021 Distiller's Cut, the original even got an upgrade. The Gin is smoother and a little more elegant. A Dry Gin with a refined but not overpowering spicy top note from the Scarlet Monarda. 

The spiciness of the Gin goes well with notes of herbs and citrus, creating a significantly different taste that's hard to compare but absolutely tasty.

It's a fantastic Gin best sipped neat or in a Gin & Tonic. But it also works great in classic cocktails like a Bees KneesHanky Panky, or a Gin Sour.

How to get the Distiller's Cut

Each year's The Monkey 47 Distiller's cut is strictly limited. In 2021, there were two different batches:

In the US, they released 4,000 bottles of the smaller 0,375l version. And another 4,000 bottles of the 0,5l version were available worldwide.

If you want to get a Monkey 47 Distiller's Cut, you have to be fast. The Distiller's Cut usually sells out quickly, and you won't get a second chance. Usually, they do a raffle on their website to make the process fairer.

For 2021, it's too late, of course. You can only look online and might find some selling for "collectors prices" now.

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