Scotch Whisky - Blended Malt - 2014
International Wine & Spirit Competition
Speyside No Age Statement - 2014
The Scotch Whisky Masters (The Spirits Business)
Speyside Blended Malts - 2013
Nose: An elegant, stylish nose of marmalade, Crema Catalana (apologies, but it really is there), cocoa and malt. Plenty of vanilla and a sprinkling of winter spice (nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon) alongside a mouth-watering hint of aniseed.
Palate: Very malty, creamy delivery with a suggestion of berry fruit. Juicy toasted barley, cloves and butterscotch. Manuka honey, hot-buttered-toast and dried apricot develop.
Finish: Medium length, spicy oak and a hint of peppermint on the tail.
Overall: According to the Monkey Shoulder website: "Some say it tastes just like riding bareback on the wild moors of Scotland with a flame haired maiden on Christmas morning. Others agree it tastes like 007 wearing a tuxedo wetsuit." This is whisky to be enjoyed.
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Such a delicious dram it tastes like 100 dollar malt I can't stop coming back to it lol a must try for malt lovers.
17th December 2014
Please tell me iv found wat Iv been looking for we went to the whiskey sessions in Manchester last month & was trying the tasters & was wondering if this is it were u there & does it taste like fudge
16th December 2014
Smels like illegal cheap vodka. No taste, no nothing.
Only for mixing with cola. Not recommend.
Doesn't taste like a blend, but a blend of single malts. It appears that somehow there is a consistency problem with so many bad reviews and so many glowing reviews. Taste like Balvenie or Glenrothes with some Glenmorangie in there - smooth, sweet and delicious. Some sherry in there with a big floral nose. What a deal!
13th December 2014
A soft and juicy malt with some cereal and caramel notes. Apple pie with ice cream on the palate with cinnamon, nutmeg and threshing room floor. It's really soft and refreshing with lovely balance and not heavy or overly rich. Really good balance and a sweet toffee finish.
I think the tasting notes 'overall' comments sums its up brilliantly. It's one of those whiskies which you will either love or hate depending on what your looking for. Personally I find it quite easy to drink with enough flavour to entertain me, although it will be one of the more simpler blends in my opinion, nothing complex here. Good mix of malt and honey on the tongue and the taste lingers around for a long enough time which I enjoy with not too much spice on the tail.
For the price you'll pay, you'll struggle to find a better blend for the money.
12th December 2014
I get lime, peppermint, fennel and allspice on the nose. Youthful fisticuffs break out between clementines, sherry, toffee, cloves and malted milk balls. The finish is more peaceful: butterscotch lingers with a little peppermint - a bit like Dr Pepper. It's an easy-going whisky in the end. I'm not sure the flavours are entirely harmonious, but it's an enjoyable dram and very good value for money.
Definitely very creamy, both in arome (very nice) and in taste (interesting but maybe bit overkill). Heh, yes, there is a bit of vomit aftertaste after a while, but only if you really think about it, and it's faint. I'd say very interesting choice for fan of exploring different whiskeys, especially for the price.
I don't why people are complaining this is bomb and I tried many malts this is a blend of 3 malts but taste like a single malt
5th December 2014
This stuff comes on lovely, then ... all of a sudden ... hits you with the god-awful taste of stale jock strap (don't ask how I recognize the taste)!
I'm carting up the bottle and taking it back to the liquor store.
3rd December 2014
If you're looking for a fascinating captivating whisky well maybe this one isn't it. But for the money it's fantastic, certainly wouldn't turn down a glass. Be a good one to introduce a newbie to whisky.
2nd December 2014
It starts out ok, but finishes with an aroma and taste reminiscent of vomit. Adding water doesn't help, and neither does trying it a few months after opening. Very disappointed.
30th November 2014
Monkeys smell like the working class, but taste like a patissier. A grainy bouquet of home-made beer, bread and chalk (& pear on the horizon) is greeted by a sweet palate of caramel, toffee and candy.
26th November 2014
I fell in love with Haighs Dimple on my first visit to Glasgow for Hogmanay 1956. I am older and wiser now. If there is a whisky better than Monkey Shoulder, in the same price range. THEN I AM A MONKEY' UNCLE. I absolutley love it.
24th November 2014
Nice looking bottle, nothing special about the whiskey.
I bought it because I liked the bottle. It's amazing how if you fill a fancy looking bottle with the very cheapest brandy everyone in the room suddenly turns into a whiskey tasting expert, and they never say it's rubbish! I highly recommend buying this for the bottle.
15th November 2014
Especially if you dont want to dip into your Balvenie Doublewood all the time.
24th October 2014
I know good scotch from bad, and both bottles of the Monkey Shoulders i've had have have delicious, if not particularly characterful - reminiscent, in fact, of Dewars 12 - but rather more intense. This blended malt is then, unsurprisingly, a perfect scotch for cocktails and casually getting loaded. As advertised, by the makers, I might add - as well as many of the reviewers. Meanwhile, the reviews are, statistically, a classic `brassiere curve' with maxima at 1 and 4 stars. WAKE UP LADS AND LASSIES bottle variation often occurs when a new blend is being established - for a multitude of fairly obvious reasons including fluctuations in constituent malt supply, manufacturer tinkering, chaotic and faulty shipping and storage as markets are being established - the list goes on. I'm sure that if we keep buying the stuff, the Grant boys will settle it down - and we'll be blessed with a terrific value in under $40 classic booze - my `house malt' until someone makes something better.
This is sublime stuff indeed...there's a lot going on here and it's almost a psychedelic rainbow of tastes...a skilled blend that reminds you of some of your favourite old friends you can't quite name...I'm shamefully at the time in my mid life when I can afford my indulgences and this is my "go to bed" tipple...sends me to a peaceful conclusion with a half read Russian novel ... Life rarely gets better
22nd October 2014
This isn't going to convert any hardcore single malt imbibers, nor is it meant to, I think. I can pick this up in the local airport duty-free shop (Malaysia) for the equivalent of about US$32 for a liter. At that price point, it absolutely delivers. I'll never pick this over some of my favored Japanese and Scotch single malts and blends for drinking with just a few drops of water. But for more creative drinks, I think this is a winner. I add a tiny bit of homemade ginger syrup and top up with mineral water (or soda) and it's really drinkable that way (perhaps dangerously so). The spicy bourbon-like character of the dram lends itself well to a bit of ginger, and I think this is a fine malt blend to experiment with for highballs and cocktails. Leave your single malt snobbery at the door for a night and give this one a whirl. That fancy Bruichladdich and your prized 18-year-old Speyside will still have you back tomorrow, don't fret.
12th October 2014
This whisky seems to divide us into two distinct categories, I am firmly in the 'Yes! Absolutely delightful' group.
My experience of malts is restricted to under £100/bottle, my preference when buying for myself is around £25. For me, good whisky is not determined by heritage, tradition, or numbers (age or proof); good whisky is something I enjoy drinking in a relaxed manner, preferably in good company. Whisky is also a matter of personal preference. My preference is for Speyside rather than Island malts, Glendronach from sherry casks is my favorite, however Monkey Shoulder is the bottle I most frequently buy - it's quite similar even if less distinct. Another reviewer described it perfectly in the following terms: Taste: creamy, subtle sweet sherry vibe (fruityish), cinnamon spicy, very very light hint of smoke at the tail end.
Since discovering this tipple, I find the business of choosing a whisky really straightforward. If the retailer stocks it, I buy it, if not, I leave empty handed knowing that I will find it elsewhere.
Being un-snobbish about whisky, I also enjoy the break with tradition that this brand offers.
27th September 2014
Batch 27, you have to be kidding. I want my money back and extra for the trauma of tasting this poison.
19th September 2014
Keep in mind that all whiskies are different and each person has a different palate.
18th September 2014
Not sure if I purchased a dud dram, but the whisky I'm tasting is nothing to boast about. On the nose I find a strong alcoholic wind tainting my airways, followed by at most the thought of burnt cedar. But when on to the palate, very alcohol forward as expected, followed by an empty mid palate, and finished with a strong medicinal, metallic, pungent almost foot like taste. I've never tasted a dram so unappealing. I feel as though I must have either found a bad bottle, or everyone else is lying.
14th September 2014
great bang for buck! over one ice cube for best result!
7th September 2014
Put simply: simply wonderful!
23rd August 2014
This is a fine malt Scotch whisky. Recommend drinking with just a little water, or a cube or two; keep coke, ginger ale, etc. OUT of it; this is a nice single malt and deserves better treatment than that. I had a hard time finding it in the US after discovering it in Scotland last year; finally bought a six bottle case at the local ABC store (can't buy a single of it in my state). It has a very pleasing and full nose and taste, without getting quirky.
NOTE: This is not a blended Scotch whisky, but rather a Blended MALT Scotch whisky; no corn, wheat, or other grains used, only malted barley. Each of the three single malts used is probably aged 3-5 years.
19th August 2014
loved it till the last drop drunken monkey
17th August 2014
I guess, I should feel lucky getting it locally for under $27/.75L. @43% it's a little harsh, but with a twist in a good way. Well, I generally believe the "magic" 40% of alcohol lets judging the taste the best. There are exceptions of course, but Monkey Shoulder ain't one of them. Still it's a good value for under $27/bottle.
15th August 2014
Lovely sweet, malty, rich. Very nice neat or over a little ice. The good qualities of both Balvenie and Glenfiddich.
31st July 2014
Aeberlour 12, glenfidich 15, balvenie double wood, Caribbean cask, glenlevit 15, glenmorangie lansanta, and Ruben, monkey shoulder... Personally, these whiskies all have a similar character.
Monkey Shoulder, fits the bill.... Nice, affordable, blended scotch. Been on the hunt for this!
creamy, subtle sweet sherry vibe (fruityish), cinnamon spicy, very very light hint of smoke
at the tail end, added this to the shelf.
If you like the ones I listed before my thoughts.
29th July 2014
Loved it!!! Smooth when poured gently over a single ice cube. Good nose and no difficult follow through. Am usually a single malt drinker, but this blend is an awesome introduction to masterly blended whiskey
10th July 2014
I am a cook. I took all the ingredients of Monkey Shoulder's "Nose" and mixed them together. Then I did the same for the "Palate" and "Finish" From the "Nose" concoction I inhaled deeply, from the Palate (with the aid of a drop of distilled water) I sipped and then, for a moment, lingered expectant of the promised finish and ready to compare with my third potion of orange, etc.
I wasn't disappointed, the experience was almost exactly the same as sampling a dram of your excellent Monkey Shoulder, (only without the burn of alcohol)
Your taster's are almost bang on in they'yr nomenclature, Though may I suggest for the "Finish" to add a drop of morning dew from the horn of a sleeping Unicorn !!
9th June 2014
Not much above mid chest and definitely below the shoulder.
It is a blend and comparable to others in the price point. A GOOD Walker is better but I would not mix with Johnny. Probably really good as a top shelf mixer but do not expect much if drinking alone. Perhaps clean/clear ice carved from pristine Antarctic glaciers would allow the Monkey to properly blossom?
29th May 2014
Great whiskey for the money, dont taste like blended att all, sweet, full in flawor, taste fruti, taste apple and more Just great!
25th April 2014
I'v just discovered that my pallet has developed enough to enjoy malt whiskies and I purchased a small sample bottle from asda of your Monkey Shoulder.....I found it very very nice and on a par with the best I'v tasted. Next stop full bottle....Spot on. I must come and visit you.
This whiskey is ok, it dont have a big bodey, but it is good for the price. Smooth and fruity and taste good. No long aftertaste but still it have a great taste. My points is 82/100
24th April 2014
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