The term ‘monkey shoulder’ harks back to our whisky making heritage. It’s 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’. Whilst our maltmen are among the few who still turn the barley manually, working conditions have changed which means this injury has been consigned to the past. Today, the name Monkey Shoulder lives on as an affectionate tribute, to honour the hard graft of all the maltmen past and present. Well, for starters, there’s not a single drop of grain whisky in our Monkey Shoulder, and the chosen malts mature in first fill ex-bourbon casks. Our own coopers repair these ex-bourbon casks so that they impart a smooth and mellow vanilla flavour into the resting malt whisky. And then, there’s Brian Kinsman our new who’s our Master now. He always chooses the right combination of casks for every batch he makes, ensuring each one is deliciously smooth and rich as the last. The three Speyside malts are then blended together in a small marrying tun where they hang out making eyes at each other for anything from three to six months. When it’s ready and taste tested by Brian, this triple malt whisky gets bottled and receives its triple monkey badge. Smooth and rich, 100% malt Scotch whisky, distilled, matured and bottled in Dufftown, Scotland.
Busy, complex and wonderfully weighted: the theme is orangey citrus softened by vanilla. Excellent malt-oak ratio. Palate: soft mouth arrival and then a steady increase in malt intensity; shards of Demerara sweetness help counter the vanilla…some grain early on…enormous length… A joy.