Review: Monkey 47 Distiller’s Cut Gin 2019
“Highly anticipated” and “gin” are terms that we rarely see together, but if ever a product merited the combination it’s this: Monkey 47 Distiller’s Cut.
For those unfamiliar, Monkey 47 is a storied German gin that includes 47 ingredients in its botanical bill. (It’s also bottled at 47% alcohol.) It’s a dazzlingly complex product, and Distiller’s Cut — an annual special release that changes every year — adds a 48th “Species Rara” ingredient to take things one step further. 2019’s “secret” 48th botanical is Myristicae arillus, the seed covering of nutmeg – also known as nutmeg mace.
Let’s give it a try.
It remains a complex and immersive gin. The nose is pungent with earth and herbs — burnt rosemary, forest floor, sauteed mushrooms, and wet asphalt… and perhaps even the mace. It smells a bit daunting, but surprises lie in wait on the palate, where a bright fruitiness opens up new possibilities. Notes of tangerines and spiced pears take you down surprising avenues, which a more traditional lemon, orange, and lime note percolates toward the finish. The slightly sweet fruit character can feel a bit at odds with the burly, brooding nose, but let the spirit develop and mellow out, allowing it to find balance on the finish. And indeed it does, letting piney juniper and fresh citrus both shine equally on the lengthy, simmering conclusion.
It also makes a dazzling martini.