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article imageOp-Ed: Whisky review #5: Monkey's Shoulder Special

By Tim Sandle     Nov 9, 2014 in Food
With the fifth our whisky reviews we move into central Scotland to the region Speyside to try Monkey's Shoulder. This whisky is quite special, consisting of three whiskies blended together.
Monkey's Shoulder is a finely blended mix of three single malts: Balvenie, Glenfiddich and Kininvie (what used to be called a vatted malt.) The best parts of all three are finely mixed together to create a special mellow bottling.
The whisky is prepared at the Kininvie distillery is a distillery in Dufftown, Moray. It is relatively new, having begun making whisky in 1990. The distillery is located the area around the strath of the River Spey, Scotland. This is one of the main centres of the Scotch whisky industry ("Speyside"), with a high concentration of single malt distilleries in the region, including the Glenfiddich distillery and the Balvenie distillery.
As for the unusual name, the whisky is named after the injury distillery workers were prone to suffering as a result of turning the malt. The whisky has an alcohol-by-volume of 40 percent.
What does this whisky smell and taste like? Using out standard factors (which allows each of the Digital Journal reviewed whiskies to be compared and contrasted), we find:
Nose: Taking that first sniff reveals a nose of marmalade, mixed with some cocoa and a vague hint of malt. On subsequent whiffs, there is a a sprinkling of winter spice (perhaps nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon) and possibly a hint of aniseed.
Palate: With the first sip the taste is very malty, also creamy. Once resting on the palate, the whisky offers an abundance of berry fruit, cloves and butterscotch.
Finish: As the whisky is swallowed, there is a light taste of honey and dried apricot. It is very warming.
This whisky is very easy to drink. It is perhaps the least complex of the whiskies reviewed so far (perhaps with the exception of Jameson's). The Digital Journal rating is 5 out of 10. The retail price is around $30 (£20).
The whisky is good for making cocktails with. Here is one to try:
Monkey Jam Sour
You need to have:
50ml Monkey shoulder
5ml Sugar syrup
2 Tsp Jam
20ml Fresh lemon juice
Optional Soda water
Dash Orange Bitters
To prepare:
Add all ingredients to shaker
Add fresh ice and shake it like a legend
Strain into ice filled glass
Top up with soda water if you fancy
Kick back and enjoy!
This feature forms part of a developing series of whisky reviews on Digital Journal. Previously tried and tested whiskies are:
Whisky review #1: Isle of Jura - DJ rating 7 out of 10
Whisky review #2: Jameson - DJ rating 6 out of 10
Whisky review #3: Laphroaig 10 year old - DJ rating 8 out 10
Whisky review #4: Talisker 10 year old - DJ rating 8.5 out 10
Whisky review #4a: Talikser Storm - DJ rating 7 out 10
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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