Review No.26. Monkey Shoulder

Monkey Shoulder is known as a good all rounder for sipping and mixing.  This is a vatted blend, so no grain in the mix, between just 3 single malts which I believe to be from Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie distilleries.  All 3 of these distilleries are based on the speyside region so you expect this to be full of sherry influenced dried fruitiness and nuttiness.  This is available at most supermarkets and can be found on offer if you do your research.


Whisky: Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, 40% vol.

Nose: Orange, honey, dark fruits, dried fruits, oak

Taste: Orange, citrus, dried fruits, oak

Finish: Pepper and oak

Score: 2

Summary: This delivers on those typical flavours that you would associate with the speyside region.  I can’t see what it offers in comparison to other entry level single malts in the same price bracket.  I am not saying that because it is a blend that it is inferior to single malts but I feel like their is a missed opportunity here with a vatted blend to add something unique.  It is pleasant and also forgettable.



Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,

1 – not to my preference

2 – tastes fine but does not excite me

3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally

4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf

5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf


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  • Toby Field

    The internet is awash with positive praise for this whisky. However, I could not like it, let alone fall in love with it. I found it heavy with wood on the palate and the nuttiness was almost stale. I found it mixed well in cocktails, which of course is where the marketing for this is pushing people. For me, this is a 1 neat or 2 for mixing.