Monkey Shoulder is one of the few blended malt Scotch whisky brands that are still widely available in a number of countries globally. It carries no-age-statement, and is intended to be a casual-playful whisky from the makers, William Grant & Sons.
It is one of the most recently established whisky brands, launched in 2005, to much acclaim. Monkey Shoulder has gained a tremendous amount of popularity among the youth, and the bartender community who enjoy the many whimsical applications of this fascinating Scotch.
Monkey Shoulder was first launched in 2005, and has been named so based on an affliction suffered by the ‘malt men’ in the early days of producing Scotch whisky.
Malt men were required to physically turn the malt by hand for hours at a stretch, and this caused one of their arms to hang down slightly more than the other. This condition was called ‘Monkey Shoulder’, and has inspired the name for this blended malt Scotch.
There are no clear indications as to why the name was chosen by William Grant & Sons, although the whisky is clearly a great one.
When the brand was first launched, Monkey Shoulder was a blend of three William Grant & Sons owned distilleries, namely; Glenfiddich, Kininvie and Balvenie single malts. These single malts are married together to create a perfect balance of sweet, fruity and floral flavours of the three distinguished Speyside single malts.
After a few years of release, Monkey Shoulder’s popularity was through the roof and the demand soon began to exceed the supply. Single malts from another William Grant & Sons distillery, the Ailsa Bay located in the Lowlands, was used to replace one of the three single malts used in the Monkey Shoulder blend.
The company soon stopped disclosing the malt whiskies and their origination, which enables William Grant & Sons to augment the production of Monkey Shoulder by utilizing malt whiskies from any of their distilleries across Scotland.
Monkey Shoulder blended malt Scotch whisky carries an alcohol strength of 40% ABV, the standard permissible limit for Scotch whiskies.
Gold at The Scotch Whisky Masters in the Blended Malt: Premium category in 2015.
Gold at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in the Scotch Whisky: Blended Malt in 2017.
Gold at The Scotch Whisky Masters in the Speyside No Age Statement category in 2014.
Gold at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in the Scotch Whisky: Blended Malt category in 2014.
Silver at The Scotch Whisky Masters in the Speyside Blended Malts category in 2013.
Rich, sweet, with aromas of orange marmalade, vanilla and honey
Mellow, sweet and creamy. Flavours of honey, dried fruits, butterscotch and caramel.
Smooth, medium and gentle finish with a hint of spice and oak in the aftertaste.