The Monkey Shoulder website states that Monkey Shoulder was originally crafted for mixing. The website statement is heretical to the seasoned mature scotch whisky drinker who might wither in discomfort when asked to make cocktails with scotch whisky! But if you ain’t tried it don’t knock it! After being in Greece this September I can assure you in the many outdoor watering holes cocktails are the rage amongst the younger set. However I was given this whisky as a sample to test it with shortbread cookies so perhaps we shall try a Monkey Shoulder inspired cocktail in the upcoming weeks.
The label states Monkey Shoulder is a blend of Speyside single malt whiskies. It is bottled by William Grant and Sons the same company behind J&B Rare Blended Scotch Whisky. My impression from the website, the label and even the name that this scotch whisky is for the younger set that seeks to escape the “boredom” of beer and wine.
Aromas of honey, apricot, toffee, peach jam and vanilla. The palate presents a high-toned spirit that is very smooth and approachable. Plenty of apricot and butterscotch with a slow long-lasting heat. The heat sneaks up on you gradually unlike some scotch whiskies that hit with fire as soon as they are in your mouth.
Served over the rocks:
The ice brings out the apricot and adds ginger and tangerine. In other words it substantially alters the aromatics. It tones down the heat substantially but unlike the Irish whisky Tullamore D.E.W. the ice does not slay it. It holds nicely with ice and I prefer it to being served neat. Just the type of scotch whisky over ice for a long transatlantic flight as it has a long life over ice.
It is available at the Liquor Control Board of Ontario for $54.95.