Malt Master David Stewart decided one day to create the world’s first ‘triple’ malt, by combining single malts from three of Speyside’s distilleries – Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie. Also to note is that there is not a single drop of grain whisky in Monkey Shoulder.
Region: Speyside, Scotland
Style: Blended Malt (aka Vatted Malt)
The term ‘monkey shoulder’ is a reference to a condition that maltmen sometimes picked up while working long shifts, turning the barley by hand. It had a tendency to cause their arm to hang down a bit like a monkey’s, so they nicknamed it ‘monkey shoulder’. While the maltmen at Moneky Shoulder are among the few whom still turn the barley manually, working conditions have changed which means this injury has been consigned to the past.
For Money Shoulder the chosen malts are matured in first fill ex-bourbon casks. The three Speyside malts are then blended together in a small marrying tun for anything from three to six months. This is a 100% malt Scotch whisky, distilled, matured and bottled in Dufftown, Scotland.
Colour: Deep gold to burnished with some slow and thick legs.
Nose: Sweet with lots of vanilla, slight floral influences and oak wood notes. A smattering of winter spices (cloves and nutmeg) adds to the depth of the nose. Also get some slight Christmas cake, brandy tart and some fresh fragrant fruits (pears and peaches).
Palate: Smooth and creamy velvety mouth feel. Vanilla is more subdued on the palate with some fruit fudge and wood spice coming to the fore. The sweet winter spiciness (nutmeg and cinnamon) creates a spicy tingle on one’s whole tongue. Drinks very easily.
Finish: Remarkably smooth, medium in length and fairly lingering with a lovely warm and sweet heart.
Overall: An easy to drink dram that is not only very well made, with a gorgeous nose and great palate, it is also very well priced.
My Score: 82