Kangaroo Island Spirits will today launch its Koala 48 gin, which uses an incredible 48 botanicals sourced from the distillery’s South Australian garden.Launched in 2011, Monkey 47 has an abv of 47 per cent and contains 47 botanicals found in Germany’s Black Forest. It has gained a global following and is sold in more than 50 countries, including Australia. French drinks giant Pernod Ricard took a majority stake in Monkey 47 in 2016.
However, Kangaroo Island Spirits is no stranger to success, winning swag of national and international awards including Best in Show with its KIS O Gin at the Australian Gin Awards last month.
KIS Director Jon Lark said the idea for the small batch of Koala 48 was formed when a koala wandered into the distillery last year.
“Kangaroo Island is known for its kangaroos but the island has also got a significant koala population and about six months ago an adolescent male koala walked through the back door of our distillery, which we’d never seen before,” he said.
A koala that stumbled into the KIS cellar door last year has helped inspire a new gin.
“We were standing around wondering how to tell this story in a bottle of gin and we had been thinking about Monkey 47 for a while.
“So, being Australian, we thought ‘bugger this we’ll do 48’.”
Only 900 bottles of the limited release Koala 48 have been produced with an abv of 48 per cent. Like its German cousin it is in 500 ml bottles and is being sold for $A95.
Kangaroo Island is about 150km southwest of Adelaide, the South Australian capital, and is Australia’s third biggest offshore island behind Tasmania and Melville Island.
It has long been regarded as one of the world’s most pristine natural environments and is also known for its premium food and abundant wildlife.
KIS gins boast a distinctly Australian flavour enhanced by the inclusion of foliage from the coastal daisy bush (olearia axillaris), native boobialla and locally grown Lemon Myrtle and Aniseed myrtle.