You will have had a blended scotch before, but fewer will have run into a blended malt. Purists will be quick to point out that every malt not marked Single Cask is, in fact, a blend but Monkey Shoulder were one of the first to the party in marketing it as such. At around $40 a bottle, it is a worthy addition to my Spirits of Christmas recommendations and an attractive entry point for a present for a friend or relative that likes a scotch.
What you get in the bottle is a blend of three William Grant’s Speyside malts. There is reference online to them being Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie but given they’re released in batches of 27 casks and there is no statement other than dufftown provenance it might be that, but could also be different.
The flavour is smooth and rich, characteristic of its ex-Bourbon cask resting. There’s complexity there if you’re really willing to go looking for it amongst the creamy, buttery middle. The finish is quite impressive given the price point and you’ll also be well rewarded chucking this round in any whisky cocktail, with a more complex than a blend but more rounded than a malt kind of result ending up in the glass.
The bottle looks great, with the metal monkeys perched on the shoulder and that weighty base.
The liquid gets its name from a condition afflicting the men of the malt house. A lifetimes toil shoveling grain can leave you with a mightly painful arm, neck and the joints between, called the Monkey Shoulder.
Pick a bottle up online here.