Blood Monkey ready to ‘disrupt’ the gin category

by Georgie Pursey

Irish craft gin producer Blood Monkey is aiming to shake up the gin category by bringing its ‘distinctly different’ style to the forefront.

Founded in 2020, the two expressions in Blood Monkey’s portfolio are both genever styles of gin, distilled in Cork, Ireland, using a malted grain base with Irish barley. “The gin category continues to premiumise and the growth that started around five years ago isn’t stopping,” said Blood Monkey founder Jason Kidd. “However, the premium segment has become somewhat feminised in liquid, brand and serve – over-run with a sameness of experience. “Over 90% of mass market brands offer only dry-style gins. These tend to focus solely on botanicals and serve with a simple tonic. Blood Monkey intends to interrupt the category by creating a fundamentally different offer, rooted in both liquid history and fresh insight.” The brand has sought to shine a light on the genever style of gin to demonstrate that there ‘is a world beyond dry-style gin’. The two products showcase the heritage of the style, which is ‘akin to a white whiskey’, with a juniper-forward base. Considered the ‘grandfather of gin’, genever is traditionally produced in Holland and Belgium, as well as specific areas of France and Germany. Until Blood Monkey, it had not been produced in Ireland for more than 150 years. Blood Monkey Irish Gin features botanicals including citrus peel, lime leaves, rosemary and Szechuan pepper, offering a warming citrus spice to the spirit alongside caramel notes reminiscent of whiskey from its malt base. The ‘robust’ flavours make the gin stand up in a classic G&T. The Blood Monkey Spice Storm expression has gone through a second distillation using Seville oranges and cardamom. Both bottlings have been created to be served ice-cold as neat sipping gins, and were awarded Gold medals in The Gin Masters 2022 tastings. Blood Monkey’s name and signature ‘drill bit’ design are nods to ‘bleeding the monkey’, the act carried out by sailors in the 17th century of drilling into the officer’s barrel to steal the liquor inside. The brand has looked to channel the rebellion of the sailors into its branding and messaging, stating it ‘goes against the grain’. Both Blood Monkey Irish Gin and Blood Monkey Spiced Storm sit at 40% ABV, and are presented in distinct 700ml black bottles. The bottles are made from 50%-60% recycled glass, and are 100% recyclable. Both products are currently only available in the UK via Amazon and Master of Malt, with an RRP of £37.50 (US$45).