Monkey Shoulder Review

Country: Scotland 
Region: Highland - Speyside
Brand: Monkey Shoulder
Type: Blended Malt Whisky
Age:  NAS
ABV:  40 %

Colour: Golden

Nose: Nothing special but not unpleasant with Malt, Toast, Orange Marmalade, Oak, Dried Fruit, Plums, Apples, Nectarine, Honey, Vanilla, Grass/Straw, light Butterscotch, Bread Dough, Brown Sugar and light Aniseed. Some Floral Tones as well.

Palate: A bit on the Thin Side with Malt, Toast, Butterscotch, slightly Bitter Oak, Toffee, Lemon, Brown Sugar, Plums, Strawberries, Pepper, Cloves, Olive Oil and Honey.

Finish: Short with Malt, Pepper, Cloves, Nutmeg, light Licorice, Honey, Vanilla and Oak.

The Monkey Shoulder does not accept added Water very well. It becomes too thin really.

Rating: 79

Nose: 20.5 - Taste: 19.5 - Finish: 19.5 - Overall: 19.5

The Balvenie Distillery

General Remarks: Monkey Shoulder is the popular name for a painful but temporary injury that Malt Men suffered on the Malting Floor while turning the Malted Barley with a shovel repetitively. It's also the name of this mix of three Single Malts owned by William Grant & Sons Ltd. They are the Glenfiddich, the Balvenie and Kininvie. The Blend (Batch 27) was distilled and matured in Dufftown by W.Grant. The three Single Malts mature in First Fill Ex-Bourbon Casks before being blended in small batches of 27 casks only. The Monkey Shoulder is certainly affordable at around - or slightly below 40 US Dollars.

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good

Drinking Experience on the Rocks: Good

Conclusion: It's not a bad blend although it tastes rather young and somewhat unfinished. And while the Nose is not unpleasant, I find Monkey Shoulder too Thin on the Palate and not interesting enough to sip neat.  It's okay on the Rocks or in Cocktails. I prefer The Balvenie DoubleWood 12 over this any time.

I tasted this Blend again on December 28, 2015. I have made some small changes in the Tasting Notes but the final Rating remains unchanged. The Nose is okay but Palate and Finish are not really interesting. A Good Blend to drink on the Rocks! 

Jan van den Ende                                   May 6, 2013 and December 28, 2015

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