Distillers Blog
Species Rara | 27 Jun. 2016

Hans Thoma

The Painter from the Black Forest

Hans Thoma

Born in Bernau (Black Forest) in 1839, painting offered Hans Thoma a way to escape his origins. After the death of his father, a trained miller who later worked as a lumberjack in the Black Forest, Thoma had to provide for his mother and sister, and so he began painting portraits and landscapes for the homes of prosperous farmers. The young “peasant painter” caught the attention of the bailiff of St. Blasien, who recommended Thoma for a scholarship to the Grand-Ducal Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe. Though he was ridiculed as a “chicken painter,” Thoma stayed true to himself, creating images that reflected his Black Forest home. He remained an outsider, even after his move to Düsseldorf in 1867. It wasn’t until he took a trip to Paris with fellow student Otto Scholderer that he was able to break out of this role. In the realism of Gustave Courbet, Thoma saw “his art” exhibited on a grand stage. This encounter provided enduring inspiration that is evident in countless later works. Though Thoma, who died in Karlsruhe in 1924, has since faded from memory, in 1909 he earned a mention in Meyer’s encyclopedia as “the favorite painter of the German people” The title honors this modern figure, whose art held fast to idyllic rural scenes despite advancing industrialization. Influenced by the lyrical pantheism of his early works, Thoma later focused largely on landscapes before also turning to more religious themes. In his later years, he worked intensively on his “Thoma-Kapelle,” which depicted scenes from the life and work of Jesus Christ.

The Hans Thoma Art Museum in Bernau exhibits the multifaceted work of the once beloved lanscape and portrait artist (including numerous self portraits) – a true son of the Black Forest, whose origins had an enduring effect on his work.

Opus Magnum | 20 Dec. 2016

Welcome to "Wunderbar Adventures of Sophistication!"

Episode 5: Being German – BLACK FOREST

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Opus Magnum | 12 Oct. 2016

Monkey 47 Distiller`s Cut 2016

Abietes Melle

Driven by occupational curiosity, a love of sensory experimentation, and a pronounced penchant for unique aromas, Black Forest Distillers have set out on their search for species rara – the singular ingredient that goes into their annual Monkey 47 Distiller’s Cut – for six years running.
...

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Monkey Business | 26 Aug. 2016

The Monkey and His Simian Sidekicks

King Louie, Cheetah, Miss Baker, and Herr Nilsson

Upon making his move to the Black Forest – to the Schaberhof and the Wild Monkey distillery, to be precise – the Monkey began turning his surroundings into a picturesque new home. Primates are not all that different from people, after all, and relocating typically offers the opportunity to...

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Species Rara | 15 Aug. 2016

The Radhaube

High fashion from 19th-century Villingen

The Radhaube
© Sebastian Wehrle

The golden Radhaube – pictured here in all its splendour – is the result of up to 400 hours of sheer artisanal craftsmanship. Though it does require a great deal of endurance from the women who weave it, this traditional headwear serves to this day as a reminder of the good old days in southwest...

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Ency. Botanica | 08 Aug. 2016

Allspice - Pimenta Dioica

A plant from the New World

Allspice - Pimenta Dioica

Allspice refers to the berries of the evergreen pimenta dioica tree, a type of plant of the myrtle family, and is native to a group of islands in the Caribbean called the Antilles. This explains why allspice is also commonly called "Jamaica pepper". Discovered by the same explorer who...

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Prescriptions | 01 Aug. 2016

Sloe Gin Fizz

Hand-Picked Sloe Berries from the Black Forest Served in a Glass

Sloe Gin Fizz
© Jochen Hirschfeld

The difference between a Tom Collins and a Gin Fizz can be summed up using the following simple rule: one is stirred, while the other is shaken. To put it even more simply: The Gin Fizz is a sour topped up with just a splash of soda water, while a lot more soda water is added to the Tom Collins...

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Ency. Botanica | 25 Jul. 2016

Honey Pomelo - Pomelo

The tangy citrus fruit and the Monkey

Honey Pomelo - Pomelo

If you’re looking for the perfect mix of sweet and bitter, keep reading. A cross between the pomelo and the grapefruit, the honey pomelo combines both distinctive flavors. Though native to Asia, it first entered the market in Israel in the 70s as the result of a backcross, which is also how it...

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Monkey Business | 18 Jul. 2016

Philipp Mainzer – The Architect and His Monkey

Architecture & Design: The Distillery “The Wild Monkey”

Philipp Mainzer – The Architect and His Monkey
© Ingmar Kurth

For some time now, Monkey 47 has been produced in the Black Forest at a distillery dubbed “The Wild Monkey”, which is located at the Schaberhof. An idyllic location that, until its purchase by Black Forest Distillers in 2013, was the site of traditional agriculture and cattle husbandry for five...

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Prescriptions | 11 Jul. 2016

Corpse Reviver #2 - The resurrection cocktail

Corpse Reviver #2 - The resurrection cocktail
© Jochen Hirschfeld

We don’t know for sure if this cocktail can raise the dead, but we can safely say that it will help revive your spirits. Lest you don’t have a copy of Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book (first published in 1930) on hand, we’d like to reveal the perfect mix:
2 cl Monkey 47
2 cl...

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Ency. Botanica | 04 Jul. 2016

English Hawthorn - Crataegus laevigata

English Hawthorn - Crataegus laevigata

The thorny, deciduous bushes known as English hawthorns are a pomaceous fruit that prefers a temperate climate. At home among forests and chaparral, this member of the rose family is also found in our European regions, where it can grow up to several meters high and live as long as 500 years....

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