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Black Forest Distillers

British taste, Indian spices and water from the Black Forest: a Gin truly original
Region Foresta Nera (Germania)
Foundation Year 1950
Address Black Forest Distillers, Äußerer Vogelsberg 7, 72290 Loßburg (Germania)

The distillery Black Forest Distillers, the Stählemühle, is known worldwide for its elegant and original gin, the Monkey 47.

The history of this spirit is truly unique and is linked to the life of the Royal Air Force commander Montgomery Collins, an eclectic and polyglot man, son of a British diplomat and grown in the Anglo-Indian province of Mandras.

After the Second World War he was assigned to the British sector of Berlin that was rebuilding the devastated city and became passionately devoted to the reconstruction of the zoo, where he met a monkey named Max. In 1951, Collins left the Royal Air Force and moved to the northern part of the Black Forest, where, after having worked in the watchmaking, he opened a country inn, the "Zum Wilden Affen", "the wild monkey". The quintessentially British love for a good glass of gin had never abandoned him and led him to create a unique recipe in the world. In his gin, Collins wanted to bring together the taste of the British tradition with the spicy flavors known in Asia, embellishing them with the ingredients caught straight from the Black Forest, such as berries and spring water: behind the name Monkey 47 there are Collins’ 47 ingredients and the special dedication to the monkey Max.

For several years, the recipe has been lost and only recently Alexander Stein and the master distiller Christoph Keller recreated it, after having found the recipe during the renovation of Collins’ hotel, in a wooden box with a bottle whose label was designed a monkey with the words "Max the Monkey".