Monkey Shoulder Whisky is a blend of 3 Speyside malts: Balvenie, Glenfiddich, and Kinivie. First they are individually aged in bourbon casks. Once the casks reach the appropriate age of maturity, 27 are chosen to be blended to create Monkey Shoulder. After further aging the master blender determines that the casks are ready to be bottled.
The nose on this whisky is exceptional. There are delicate but plentiful floral notes complimented by zesty citrus and stone fruits (peaches, apricots, and a hint of plum maybe). This is followed by spicy oak and a faint hint of spices.
Upon tasting there is a honeyed sweetness. There are additional notes of cinnamon, vanilla, brown sugar and pears. This is backed up with rich malty and subtle oak notes.
Overall its a great whiskey and a solid introduction for those wishing to delve into the whiskey world. Its an easy sipper when drunk neat and is a nice addition to cocktails.
Monkey Shoulder retails for around $35 for 750ml.
Sample was provided by representatives of Monkey Shoulder.
For the cocktail I offer a modern classic created by Sam Ross of Milk & Honey.
2 oz Blended Scotch (Monkey Shoulder)
3/4 oz Lemon Juice
3/4 oz Ginger-Honey Syrup
1/4 Islay Scotch (Laphroaig)