Description and review by Daniel & Rex in the Whisk(e)y Vault
Monkey Shoulder uses only malt Scotch whisky from three of Speyside’s finest distilleries. This triple malt is catching the attention of the country’s leading bartenders for its smooth and rich qualities, making it ideal for mixing as well as drinking in the more traditional way. As Charlotte Voisey, of London’s Apartment 195 explains, ‘the atractive name and bottle spark curiosity, and once explained, bring a smile to your face.’
Rooted in malt whisky lore, Monkey Shoulder is inspired by and named in honour of the malt men at William Grant, who are among the few still to turn the malting barley by hand using a sheil (wooden shovel). Monkey Shoulder was a nickname given to a temporary injury some malt men occasionaly suffered many years ago as a result of repeatedly bending over whilst turning the malt. Thankfully, working practices have now changed and the condition no longer exists.
Crafted in small batches of just 27 casks, Monkey Shoulder’s smooth and and rounded taste has accents of malty sweetness, vanilla, marmalade and barley sugar. The iconic bottle design, complete with three brass monkeys – each representing one of the constituent single malts – on the bottle’s shoulder, is sure to attract confident, liberal minded people with discerning taste and ensures it’s not one to hide away in the drinks cabinet!
Monkey Shoulder’s easy-drinking blend of three single malts – Balvenie, Glenfiddich and Kininvie. Named after the injury distillery workers were prone to suffering as a result of turning the malt. An elegant, stylish nose of marmalade, Crema Catalana, cocoa and malt. A sprinkling of winter spice (nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon) adds an extra dimension, alongside a mouth-watering hint of aniseed. Very malty, creamy delivery which offers up a palate redolent of berry fruit, juicy toasted barley, cloves and butterscotch. A hint of manuka honey, hot-buttered-toast and dried apricot develop. Medium length, with clove-studded oranges, creamy vanilla and peppermint on the tail.
2015 Silver Outstanding Medal Winner – International Wine & Spirits Competition.
IWSC Awards Tasting Note: Delightfully delicate nose with fine mix of floral notes, citrus and stone fruits. Gentle heather and honey follow. Smooth entry and fine flow across the palate. Satin-like texture. Flavours build in the mouth leaving no doubt about sweet malt and ripe barley. Full fruit flavoured finish.