Review - Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

Photo Credit: Monkey Shoulder

To quote their website: "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'."

Made from a blend of 3(undisclosed) Speyside single malts, the makers of Monkey Shoulder claim that it is "smooth and mellow" because they use no grain whisky and the individual malts are "matured" in "first fill ex-bourbon casks" to impart a vanilla flavor. Although we agree somewhat with the smoothness, we felt there was not enough vanilla notes present to fully substantiate this claim.

Photo Credit: Josh

Monkey Shoulder was the lowest rated of the evening's blended scotch whisky selections (Monkey Shoulder, Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition Blended Scotch Whisky & Bank Note Blended Scotch Whisky).

Rating 3.5 Glasses


  • Distillery: William Grant & Sons Distillers Ltd
  • Years Aged: NAS
  • Proof: 86
  • Price (USD): $ 32.00
  • Availability: Widespread
  • Tasting Notes:

  • Color & Consistency: Apple juice, young whisky, long legs, thin
  • Nose: Sweet, nutty, toffee, caramel - No burn
  • Taste: Sweet, watery & hints of citrus and brine
  • Finish: Fleeting, oaky & thin
  • Conclusion: OK blended scotch for the money. Drinkable but wish the finish lasted longer. Nothing to really write home about.