We’re continuing our whiskey coverage, and once again like Macallan, we come to a scotch, but a scotch that’s just not good. This was bought because it’s called Monkey Shoulder, and if you are looking for the takeaway it might be to not think a spirit named for a creature that has not and never will exist in that country is a mark of quality. tl;dr (Monkeys =/= Scottish)
This is a whiskey without a purpose. It’s not meant to be had straight, on rocks, or in a cocktail. It works best as a story. “What are you drinking?” “Monkey Shoulder.” “Is it any good.” “Nope.” [Fin]
There are many blended scotches out there that don’t suck – just get those.
What they Say: “Rooted in Malt Whisky History, and inspired by the Malt Men Who still turn the Malting Barley by hand. Monkey Shoulder is blended in small batches from three of Speyside’s finest single malt whiskies to achieve a Smoother, Richer Taste.
Inspired by the malt man’s craft, Monkey Shoulder has been created using three of Speyside’s finest single malt whiskies, resulting in a rich blended malt of exceptional smoothness
Taste: Mellow Vanilla with spicy hints.
Nose: Zesty Orange, Vanilla Honey & Spiced Oak”
Taste: 3.0 – This starts off with the power and brashness you’d expect from an American whiskey. There’s a weird smoky heat section that just refuses to die.
Aftertaste: 6.0 – Once you get past that monster though the mellow and lingering flavours are very blended scotch, and are quite enjoyable.
Burn/Smooth: 3.5 – Inoffensive. That’s the correct word because while this might have a twinge of whiskey too it, for the most part, it’s just forgettable. In the pantheon of scotch though such a sin is not par, but far worse.
Aroma: 6.0 – So this gets an additional point for one reason. This does smell like every mid-tier blended scotch. However, it lacks enough of an ethanol smell to give it that 1 point.
Honesty: 8.0 – If you are wondering above at the weird capitalization, it’s due to the colour change and therefore emphasis they place. The text is for the most part typical Scottish blended wankery. The addition of the 3 monkey indent and wax? on the bottle is a nice touch. The cork and bottling/batch helps as well. Overall we can’t hurt a whiskey called Monkey Shoulder too hard if they’re not throwing poo at you.
W/ Rocks: 3.5 – No. That certainly has a slightly different profile and taste on the rock. The answer is still no though. It’s sharp in the wrong places and lacks depth in others. It changes the whisky, but it does not improve it.
Whiskey and Ginger Ale: 6.5 – Finally a way to enjoy this that’s agreeably good. Unfortunate it takes this much, but despite the cool name, this is not a great blended scotch.
Rusty Nail: 4.5 – It makes an overall okay, but subpar Rusty Nail, sad really.
Value: 3.5 – The problem here is that because this doesn’t excel in any category aside from sounding cool, there is simply no way to justify the $34 price tag. As such this isn’t worth the value but is worse.
Google Shop Average: $34
Metric Score: 34.83/70 |+| Metric Average: 4.98 |+| Reviewer Average: 4.5
Final Thoughts: *takes off jacket* Now I may be a monkey’s uncle, but even I know that you don’t see no monkey’s in the Scottish highlands, and they’ve no business blending a whiskey if this is what they come up with. Oh sure some enterprising lads have cracked it, but let’s leave it to professionals Y’all here?