Each year Monkey 47 releases a limited edition distiller's cut that includes one new botanical - 2022 this is woodruff. While the standard bottle of Monkey 47 is already fantastic, the 2022 Distiller's cut is even better. A hint of woods and forests enhances the classic flavor profile.
Woodruff is a typical German flavoring ingredient popular in sweets, drinks, and tea. It makes the flavor profile more woody, earthy, and spicy. Time to review the 2022 release.
What is the Monkey 47 Distiller's Cut?
Monkey 47 Distiller's cut is one of the various special editions of Monkey 47. But contrary to the others, it's a regular thing that returns in a new guise each year since 2011. The base is the same recipe they use for their standard bottle, but that comes with a twist. - A yearly reinvention of the Monkey formula.
These yearly limited editions are extremely popular and highly anticipated. That is also why in 2016, Monkey 47 increased the number of available bottles to 4,000. That gave more loyal customers a chance to get their hands on this sought-after rarity.
- Produced by: Black Forest Distillers GmbH
- Origin: Germany
- Released: October 2022
- Species rara: woodruff or Galium odoratum
- ABV: 47%
- MSRP: $80
The secret ingredient - Woodruff
For the 2022 Distiller's Cut, Monkey chose woodruff as the 48th ingredient to spice up the flavor profile. Galium odoratum, the Latin name for woodruff, is a member of the Rubiaceae family. This family of herbs has a fragrant and spicy aroma due to the coumarin the plants contain.
In Germany, woodruff is a well-known flavoring ingredient for drinks. You can find it in sodas and sweets like jelly, ice pops, and much more. In most cases, it comes with a high level of sweetness. For this Gin, though, it does not.
I love the complexity of Monkey 47, so I was super curious to see how the addition of woodruff changed the taste of the spirit. -And I was quite surprised.
- Aroma - The nose is quite complex, with rich notes of vanilla and cinnamon. In the background, you can smell the distinct woodruff aroma. It evolves over time, and while it starts with a woody, floral aroma it ends with spicy vanilla notes.
- Taste - On the palate, the woodruff notes are even more pronounced. Although, as mentioned, without the typical sweetness. The taste is relatively spicy, with warming notes of cinnamon and vanilla.
Overall, the flavor is very unique and hard to compare. It reminds me of a rich, damp forest. Warm notes from vanilla and cinnamon complement this impression and make this Gin truly special.
How to use in cocktails
The woodruff flavors in the gin work best in cocktails that include fresh and citrusy ingredients. I tried it in a gin-forward Negroni but the woodruff flavor is covered behind the bitter and sweet notes. However, using it in a Gin Fizz and Gin Sour worked beautifully. It brings a spicy and woody note to the drink which was even better when we sweetened the drink with homemade woodruff syrup.
Here are some cocktails you should try making with it:
Is it worth its price?
For Monkey 47 Gin collectors and experienced drinkers, the price is justified. After all, it's supply and demand, and with just a few bottles on the market, the price is naturally higher compared to standard bottles. The quality is great as you might expect from Monkey 47. Plus, the flavors in the gin are far from standard making it an ideal gift for gin lovers who've seen it all.
If you're new to gin or don't have much experience, the high price tag of around $80 is not worth it. You're better off investing your money in multiple quality gins of diverse flavor profiles before you get into these limited collectors' editions.
Pros & Cons
- Unique flavor profile with woody and spicy notes
- Works great in cocktails made with lemon
- Limited release with high demand
- Expensive compared to standard bottle
- Not for beginners - differences to standard bottle require experience
How to buy it
As the Distiller's cut is strictly limited, it's a challenge to get the chance to buy one. For US customers, they have 4,000 bottles of the smaller 0,375l version reserved. -Another 4,000 bottles of the 0,5l standard size are available for the rest of the world.
If you wanted to get your hands on it, you better be fast. Monkey organizes a huge raffle to pick the lucky ones who are then eligible to buy one of the prestigious bottles. Usually, this raffle fills up quickly - it was no different for the 2022 expression. Only a few thousand lucky ones won an option to buy the sought-after collectible.
If you were not among them, you might still be able to buy a bottle in selected shops. Though at a higher price. Should you be generally interested in buying Monkey's special releases, follow them on one of their social media channels. They actively promote all upcoming limited editions. That gives you plenty of time to register for the raffles.