Review: Monkey 47 Distiller’s Cut Gin 2023

Review: Monkey 47 Distiller’s Cut Gin 2023

Every year Germany’s Monkey 47 releases a special edition of its winning gin. Monkey 47 is famously made with 47 botanicals, and these Distiller’s Cut releases add a 48th ingredient. For 2023 (the 13th year of the series), the extra ingredient is Acer Saccharum — better known as maple syrup.

Maple syrup is an odd addition to any gin, but it’s particularly odd for a German gin: The syrup is sourced from Southern Quebec in Canada, over 4300 miles away from Monkey 47’s home in the Black Forest.

For this year’s edition, Monkey 47 set out to partner with local maple syrup farmers in Canada, seeking to find a partner that shares Monkey 47’s passion for craftmanship. The journey led Monkey 47 to the sugar bush of the Cosman & Webb Farm. Established in 1977, in the Eastern Township of Southern Quebec, this farm has been dedicated to producing the finest, purest organic maple syrup for nearly half a century. Today, the ancient forest and fertile soils are home to an abundance of thriving animal and plant species. It is a sanctuary of biodiversity, a place of beauty, and is now cherished by a third generation of the Cosman family. With Monkey 47 and Cosman & Webb Organic Maple Syrup both being handcrafted and produced in small batches with an absolute dedication to unparalleled quality, the collaboration felt very natural.

The impact of the maple is virtually invisible on the nose, the spirit featuring the expected aromas of fresh pine, rosemary, lemon peel, and some lime leaf. Very clean, it lacks the earthier mushroomy notes that Monkey 47 often provides. Perhaps the maple has simply balanced them out?

On the palate, surprises are minimal. Evergreen-focused, with a sharp note of lemon underneath, it’s as traditional a gin as I’ve encountered in recent years — again, lacking that earthy quality that the gin is often known for. There’s a punch of citronella and a mint quality that become evident with some exploratory time, and, yes, in the end, just a hint of sweetness. It is decidedly understated (and I would never have been able to peg it as maple specifically), but it’s there, backed up on the finish with various notes of cinnamon, gingerbread, and green tea. The journey here offers ample variety but is never intense, and it doesn’t ever wander too far from its apparent mission — and that’s not a complaint at all.

It’s perfect on its own or as the star of the cocktail of your choice.

94 proof.

A- / $80 (375ml)

Monkey 47 Distiller's Cut Gin 2023




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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