Insider knowledge: Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whisky is named whisky by virtue of the fact it's from Scotland. If distilled in America the spelling would be Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whiskey, as opposed to whisky.
Nose: An elegant, stylish nose of marmalade, Crema Catalana, cocoa and malt. A sprinkling of winter spice (nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon) adds an extra dimension, alongside a mouth-watering hint of aniseed.
Palate: Very malty, creamy delivery which offers up a palate redolent of berry fruit, juicy toasted barley, cloves and butterscotch. A hint of manuka honey, hot-buttered-toast and dried apricot develop.
Finish: Medium length, with clove-studded oranges, creamy vanilla and peppermint on the tail.
LOVE it, it's my favorite. Doesn't taste like "blended" whiskey. I drink it neat and enjoy every drop.
31st March 2014
MS first scotch wife liked that we haved tasted in Scotland
28th March 2014
Monkey Shoulder is not a blended Scotch, but rather is what has come to be officially termed a "blended malt Scotch," meaning it contains NO grain whisky, only single malts, specifically Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie (three of William Grant's Dufftown distilleries). Some of the commenters here may well be tasting the cratur at bottled strength, with predictably disappointing results. Adding even a few drops of unchlorinated water to the whisky has the (usually beneficial) effect of what professional noses call "opening the nose" of the dram. Fundamentally, the slight dilution thus provided changes the relative volatility of the various aromatic components of the distillate, which affects the flavor. Personally, I find Monkey Shoulder to be a liquid substitute for a sweet dessert, and a very satisfying substitute indeed. Kudos to Grant's resident "nose."
26th March 2014
I received this as a gift from a coworker who visited Scotland two weeks ago. At first I was a little resistant as I had never heard of it before. However, once I got my first taste......I am hooked. The palate is amazing. The flavor are evenly balanced in a smooth, creamy , nutty concoction that will leave you wanting more. I have been a fan of another scotch for the last 32 years. Monkey Shoulder just became my number one poison. Well done.
21st March 2014
Just purchased a bottle for the first time. The bottle itself caught my eye and the spelling of Wisky, (not local), plus color and font lending to an underscore of the description from the label and encouraged my purchase. Now,that's the outside. Thought you might want to know what got me try this particular blended Scotch. I will review the inside shortly.
15th February 2014
The negative comments here scared me, but when I saw how many positive ones there were, I thought "surely there must be something to this." But now, having tried this whisky, I must say I agree with the negative comments.
I'm by no means an expert, but my last 15 or so bottles of scotch have all been single malts from a variety of regions and styles. My palate is more sensitive than it used to be and I can easily say this blended single malt is near the bottom.
It has a little smoke, which I like (I'm a big fan of the Islay malts), but here are the downsides: The nose has a sharp "rubbing alcohol" smell (almost reminds me of smoky vodka) that overpowers the other softer notes which may have otherwise been pleasant - for example, there's a little smoke / oak smell, but again - overpowered by the alcohol/vodka.
The palate is very similar to the nose - a sharp vodka/alcohol taste as it hits the tongue. There are hints of better flavor underneath that bite, but they're unable to break through.
The finish is also unpleasant. It fades very quickly, and I'm left with an unpleasant "alcohol" finish I'd normally associate with a cheap "party" whisky rather than a scotch. Only difference is I get a little bit of oak / smoke.
Since this is a single malt blend from some well known distillieries, my thoughts are it was either made from reject barrels and/or extremely immature barrels - aka 1 day over the 3 year minimum :).
You get what you pay for, I guess.
12th February 2014
I was incredibly surprised by how good this was! Much better than any other blends at this price range. It's incredibly smooth and a great introductory scotch, I would say it's like the Maker's Mark of scotch, in that it is smooth and easy drinking and someone who says they don't like scotch, but likes whiskeys in general would enjoy it.
20th January 2014
Well my wife just polished this off saying it was far superior to the Grant's blend I buy for her whisky mac! it is very palatable creamy and smooth for a blend, okay so not a single malt but blends seem to mask complexity rather than bringing more to the glass. i usually add water to a blend, or ice, no need here - on offer in Sainsburys at £23 a good price, but not great value at £30.
9th January 2014
A great whiskey and for a blend almost as good as Teachers
1st January 2014
Lovely smooth taste. I like blends and this compares to Johnnie Walker Gold label at twice the price. Just going to pour another, a lovely easy drink.
27th December 2013
I saw the bottle on the lower shelf ,the monkeys caught my eye,the colour look good,i read the label,saw the price,purchased a bottle,that evening opened it,love it,drank almost half a bottle,woke next morning blurred eyes,that evening did it all over again,love it.
Just to let you folks know ,it was the weekend with loads of football.
Viva the monkeys and Cape Town South Africa
1st November 2013
A smooth and tasty easy-drinker. Not incredibly complex, but the overall flavor more than makes up for it. Top of its class at this price point. Total bargain.
Whilst preferring single malts , this is a smooth Speyside mix, and a bargain at £20 in Asda's Aberdeen!!
1st October 2013
help,maybe holding on to a bottle for a few months allowed it to spoil,something is wrong
14th September 2013
As a seasoned single malt drinker, big fan of speyside particularly Glenfiddich 15, Aberlour A'bunadh, Balvenie Signature, Glenturret, Linkwood 15, Glenfarclas 105 etc, I wanted to take a step into the world of blends. Try and find a reasonable every day tot perhaps. Maybe curiosity got the cat a little, too.
This should have been the perfect one for me, the bottle raves about three whiskys from Speyside.....
But how wrong could I be, the nose is no better than Bell's and upon tasting it cannot believe there is no grain. What a waste of single malts creating this rubbish.
If you like your Speysides stay well away, spend a few quid more on Glenfiddich 15, probably the best supermarket single under £40 and regularly £30 at T's. Or spend £40 and get Aberlour A'bunadh, ten times the whisky this.
If you are a Grouse drinker and want to step up, same advice.
Basically nobody should waste their hard earned on this.
11th September 2013
At first, a sharp insecticidal taste. Not at all smooth. Later, more tolerable. Won't buy another bottle. Back to my favorite single malt, The Dalmore.
31st August 2013
Waitrose had this knocked down to £16 (yes, I know...) so I thought I would try it. I buy very few blends and normally have a cupboard full of single malts, but this keeps pace with those and is an amazing blend. The Balvenie shines through in this mix but isn't dominant - pure genius in my opinion and the price is crazy.
29th July 2013
My introduction into whisky. This was a good start. A solid taste, not the smoothest. But easy enough to drink neat.
12th July 2013
Not complex, but nothing about it is bad.
It has a hint of spice which makes me think of Johnny Walker Red label (if it were good).
It's a good value and has a nice creamy body. The sweet maltiness and pleasant fruity flavor of a basic Speyside is what this is all about.
No kidding lads and lassies, this is a treat, I bought one for the first time whilst looking for something new to try, but I struggled to find one that appealed to me, so I bought this one for the quirky three little monkeys stuck on the side of the bottle. I was very pleasantly surprised when I tried it, I think (and I know we all have different tastes) it's probably the nicest reasonably priced whisky I've tasted!.....Never tried it? take a leap of faith!
21st June 2013
This is a fantastic blend, after picking up a bottle in a supermarket and seeing the label 'Triple Malt' on offer I was sceptical, having had my fingers burned with pure malt blends in the past that were car crashes of flavours! First taste was promising, with a mixer this is pure nectar and rewrites the rules (do not abuse this with cola!), but in a true serve with a few drops of water it opens up and gives out beautiful citrus openers, before becoming textures of rich classic oak aged flavours, but a warm aftertaste. When you research the blend, it comes back as William Grants mucking about with the three malt distilleries they own, glenfiddich, balvenie (both pretty hit and miss at times) and kininvie
30th May 2013
Excellent blend smooth and supple.
19th May 2013
The bad reviews here are funny--this is not a single malt, nor should it be compared to one. This just became available locally (Los Angeles, USA), and I think it is very nice. It seems they are trying to go after Bourbon and Irish Whiskey more with this one. This something affordable that can be quaffed quickly, implemented into a cocktail or enjoyed slowly. It's versatile and not offensive in any way. The price is right as well. Scotch Whisky lovers should be celebrating this brand because it is a great spokesproduct for the industry.
1st May 2013
Obviously many eat too many take aways with spices. Taste alters no longer able to Taste Simplicity's subtleness. I am not "expert" in whisky. Yet tasted Auchentoshan 3 woods, Jack Daniels, Balvenie : loved them all. Here like rare Connoisseur palates write it, there is no COMPLEXITY in flavour, it is like I am drinking water flavoured with whisky. Smooth is sure. Water is smooth. Rich is nonsense.
So from now on, I will trust my instinct : keep faithful to the Brands I love. I trusted the reviews and instead of buying a Balvenie I bought the monkeys. It is drinkable but it is not worth more than 10 GBP. You need to be hungry to taste the real complexity of bread. Same for whisky. Monkeys can monkey real whiskys but only once in my case.
27th April 2013
Very good, THE Netjerlands
25th April 2013
Great taste neat with a couple drops of water, SUPERB! Would recommend to anybody & everybody! Go Grant!
13th April 2013
A good whiskey , tried it first time , very satisfied.
23rd March 2013
Unfortunately I bought this in the hope of finding a cheaper option to the mid range single malts. It isn't for me, no complexity, no length on finish, no taste. If you look at their web site it is obvious they had cocktails in mind when they produced this.
11th March 2013
I believe its great value for money.
15th January 2013
great whisky, surprisingly complex and deliciously upfront.
Gone is the sweetness, the hint of liqueurs, the appealing taste of a whisky which can be shared with everyone. Now we only have a harsh blended which is now massively overpriced for what it is. When did these reviewers make their reviews? I bet when the labe said "Triple Malts" not Batch 27!
10th January 2013
I've had a bottle of monkey shoulder given to me as a present before Christmas.
As a blend i can recommend this one. For me it has a nice smooth taste with no aftershock.
It's no single malt, however i would recommend you give it a try.
26th December 2012
Very mellow, nice dram - for a virgin whiskey drinker, this is a very, very soft and mellow tipple; with just enough sharp hit to make it worthwhile.
A very nice effort for less than £30.
27th October 2012
This is not a bad tasting whisky. In fact it has little flavor to taste. It is very mild, smooth and slightly sweet. I detected no interesting or stimulating flavors. It seems absent of any peat whatsoever. I would only recommend this as a starter Scotch to introduce the pleasures of Scotch whisky to a younger person who may be intimidated by a peatier more flavorful dram. If you already enjoy Scotch skip this insipid stuff and if you're looking for a tasty, economical blend pick up some Teachers.
13th September 2012
I paid £25 for this and have to say I thought it good value. Don`t often drink blends or Speysides for that matter(Black Bottle, favourite blend)but I would buy this again.Nice one Granty !!
13th August 2012
A fantstic value for money blend, it offers a lot on the palate when conampred to the more generic blends such as Grant's own, Grouse and the foundation of all whisky evil - Bells. This is one that I keep in my collection constantly and it fits right in there with all my single malts, a great dram.
6th August 2012
Not a bad scotch blended malt (mix of three single malts from Grants), but a little bit too sweet, it's all toffee and vainilla and too little oak. it must be matured for not so much time and clearly in bourbon casks
5th August 2012
Ian: " The monkey shoulder blend is Unbelievable. On its own fantastic with water just as good!!"
9th May 2012
Bought some samples for my father and his mates to try in South Africa as it is not available there yet (I believe they have just released Monkey Shoulder in USA?) I am already a convert and luckily purchased my full bottle from MoM before they sold out. Can't go wrong at £22/bottle. Unbelievable value. Definitely my new favourite blend (I would usually drink Johnnie Walker Black if I was to drink a blend but not any more) Hurry up and get some stock back in - you may need it soon. Here is what the "Ballies" in South Africa had to say:
Dad: "very very good. 84 rating" (Whisky Bible? if you pay attention to these ratings)
8th May 2012
Very surprised saw this in Asda at £23 a bottle best £23 ever spent.
3rd February 2012
I see all these reviews with 4+ stars (8+ rating), and therefor I felt the need to express my own experience which is totally the opposite.
I only had 1 glass (which I did not finish) and gave the bottle away, for me it was way too easy to drink. Too sweet in my opinion, especially the palate.
2nd January 2012
I'm a born liar.
28th December 2011
Having read all the reviews I will not open my bottle but leave it to my sons on my demise.
Srooling over this gem... A complexity hidden behind a simplicity. Can't ask for a better casual swig!
13th November 2011
This is a surprise.. why? ,because it is GOOD. Another great surprise is the buying price.Easy to drink as a regular dram. Not usually fond of blends, but his is a blend of whiskies that unite in unique synergy!!
3rd October 2011
Superb........... Enough said.......
6th June 2011
bought this out of curiousity and drank it in a month, not me but everyone that tried it wanted more. I love single malts and the only blend I usually buy is Black Grouse or Black Bush, not any more. Try it, you will not be dissapointed, I wasnt.
1st March 2011
Simply the best
25th February 2011
just love the taste of this
29th January 2011
I loved this Scotch with a capital S
Never been keen on blended whiskies ,but this one is a winner The price is a bonus the spice and sweetness just great 10/10.
16th January 2011
Wow I have never recommended a malt before but this is stunning! I have £70+ bottles that are not as good.. for me the you can really taste the balvenie, which is no bad thing... try it! you will not find a better <£30 blend
9th December 2010
This is the best example of a blended malt I have ever tasted.
17th November 2010
One of the best whiskeys you can buy! better than most single malts
16th September 2010
One of the best blended whisky as is consists of three single malts.
5th July 2010
One of the best !!
3rd March 2010
very nice for he price
31st October 2009