Next up on The Dapper Chapper Bar is Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whisky – and it’s a good one.
Now this is a review that I’ve very much been looking forward to, as Monkey Shoulder has firmly lodged itself as the Whisky of choice for me and my fellow Dapper Chappers when we decide to have a bit of a catch up.
Monkey Shoulder is making waves in the whisky world. It proudly boasts that it is the world’s first “Triple Malt Scotch Whisky” – a claim that in itself is pretty impressive, but maybe not mind-blowing. However, when you take a look at the three single Malts that are mixed to create Monkey Shoulder, you will understand why this truly is a whisky to stand up and take notice of.
Mixing three of Speyside’s world famous Single Malt whiskies together – Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie was a bold intention, but one that has paid off. Distillers William Grant & Sons have produced a whisky that is not only incredibly pleasant to drink neat and is adored by barmen across the UK for it’s excellent mixing abilities, but one that has also opened whisky up to a new audience.
Now onto the Monkey Shoulder story. First things first…..the name. Where does it come from you ask? Well, it’s actually a very fitting and affectionate tribute to the Malt Men of yesteryear. It refers to a condition that malt men sometimes picked up while working long shifts, turning the barley by hand. It had a tendency to cause their arm to hang down beside their bodies, much like a monkey’s. It is a tribute to the hard work and commitment of malt men throughout the years.
All three malts that are mixed together to make Monkey Shoulder are individually matured separately in Monkey Shoulder’s own first fill ex-bourbon casks, which are repaired by their very own coopers to ensure they impart the perfect level of smooth vanilla flavour into the resting malt whisky.
Once each Malt has been matured for a sufficient amount of time (a time only Brian Kinsman, their Master Blender can decide), the three malt whiskies are blended together in a small marrying tun where they are left to blend for anything between 3 and 6 months and is produced in batches of only 27 casks, to ensure the quality of each individual batch.
Once it is finally ready, Master of blending Brian will personally taste test it and if it meets his approval, it is signed off and receives the iconic triple monkey badge.
The result is an incredibly smooth and rich whisky that is almost sweet on the tongue. There are unmistakeable vanilla and caramel notes, which make it an incredibly pleasurable whisky to drink neat, while also offering significant versatility to cocktail experts.
We’d recommend first trying Monkey Shoulder neat over a few cubes of ice, so that you can really get an appreciation for the rich & smooth flavour this unique blend has to offer. You will then appreciate it more when you try the many famous cocktails that use Monkey Shoulder, as you will be able to pick out the Monkey Shoulder flavours that make their cocktails to popular.
So I guess it’s time to recommend a cocktail for you. The truth is there are so many to choose from that this is an almost impossible task, BUT if you put a gun to my head and said if I didn’t choose I’d never get to drink Monkey Shoulder again, then I’d probably go for this…Enjoy!
The Monkey Jam Sour
- 50ml Monkey shoulder
- 5ml Sugar syrup
- 2 Tsp Jam
- 20ml Fresh lemon juice
- Optional Soda water
Dash Orange Bitters
Add all of the above ingredients into a shaker.
Add fresh ice, put on the lid and shake…..shake hard.
Strain the liquid into an ice filled tumbler
Top up with a little soda water
Monkey Shoulder is available in top bars and clubs across the UK and can be purchased from The Whisky Exchange for £24.45