There are about 260 known living species of monkey some which have varied relationships with humans. Some are kept as pets, some are used in space missions and some are 60's American Pop Rock groups. The monkey I'm talking about today is not in the band who sings "I'm a Believer", but I sure am a believer in Monkey Shoulder and I couldn't leave it if I tried!
Produced by the IWSC Distiller of the Year, William Grant & Sons, this extremely sought after Scotch whisky is finally here...no, not just here in the US, but right here in Chicago! Monkey Shoulder is a "Vatted Malt"...ummmm, I mean "Blended Malt". My apologies to the Scotch Whisky Association (The SWA outlawed the words "Vatted Malt" in Nov. 2011). Since it is a "Blended Malt" it is a combination of single malt whisky from the Balvenie, Glenfiddich and Kinivie distilleries without grain alcohol added.
Monkey Shoulder is matured in first fill Bourbon casks hand selected by Malt Master Brian Kinsman, to ensure its signature smooth flavor. (Some of the bottlings from the UK were hand selected by David Stewart of the Balvenie)
Monkey Shoulder got it's name from an old term used to describe a temporary injury that a malt man would experience after a long day’s work. After turning barely all day, the malt man would feel as though he had a monkey on his shoulder. Luckily, the distillation process is now automated and not done by hand for the most part.
Monkey Shoulder has already won awards including a Gold award at the 2011 International Wine & Spirit Competition, a Gold award in the 2011 International Spirits Challenge, and a Master distinction in the Speyside Blended Malt category at the 2011 Scotch Whisky Masters. In other words, don't f#%k with the monkey!
I honestly have to say, this is the best tasting scotch whisky in it's price range of $30. Yes, that's right...30 freaking dollars! Being a combination of 3 of the finest Speysides for such a cheap price gets two thumbs up from me for "Best Bang for your Buck". It's not extremely complex, however it is very rich and smooth without the harsh grain aftertaste that Blended Whiskies give you.
NOSE: Peach orchards with rich vanilla oakiness
PALATE: Toffee and nutmeg with the underlying oakiness
FINISH: Absolutely zero burn. Extremely smooth and sweet with burst of cinnamon towards the end.
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