Monkey Shoulder is a “triple malt”, a blended malt containing whisky from Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie (all three part of the same company). Kininvie is the newest distillery – it has been in production for over 10 years but we’ve never seen a single malt bottling.
Monkey Shoulder is said to be around 6 years old. It is released in batches which may differ slightly, but overall the profile should remain quite constant.
Monkey Shoulder (40%, OB 2008)
Nose: Fresh, very fruity, candied and slightly youngish. Notes of apple sweets and honey. Some apricot and banana. There’s a flowery side to it (violets maybe?).
Mouth: suddenly it becomes clear that this is not a single malt. The attack is very weak and the first flavours are quite generic (grains and caramel). It misses some punch. Is that vanilla? Or mint maybe, in the end?
Finish: rather short, grainy and nutty in the very end.
Monkey Shoulder is smooth, easy-going but also too harmless. Probably a great base for a Manhattan, but for € 30 there are better options in the single malt shelf.