Sips Review: Monkey Shoulder

  • Distiller: Balvenie
  • Blended Malt
  • Region: Speyside
  • ABV: 40%

Looking for a bottle of something fun and new, my eye is immediately caught by the Monkey Shoulder bottle. There are three adorable monkeys on the shoulder of the bottle. The amber colored liquid looks rich and inviting. The label is easy to read and promises a blended malt whiskey with “three of Speyside’s finest single malt whiskies.” It comes from Balvenie, which I love to drink. How do I resist? I don’t.

Upon further inspection once getting it home, it has a zesty orange nose with mellowed vanillas and spices that remind me of Christmas. It feels elegant and I’m anxious to see if it balances a creamy / spicy taste.

The palate is sweet, sweeter than I had anticipated. There is definitely honey and butterscotch present. There’s a creamy delivery, lots of vanilla. I decide to throw in an ice cube. Once it’s both opened up a little further and rolled around on my tongue a little longer, it develops more nuance. There’s a toasted taste to it, with cloves, and dried apricots. It has a medium length finish that is spicier than I thought it would be.

Overall, I enjoy the sweet, heavy vanilla and honey taste. It’s a simplistic sort of blend but that, I think, will make it perfect for blending into cocktails, such as an old fashioned. I think for its price point, it was an excellent decision to try it. I don’t know that it will be a permanent resident in my cabinet but it is welcome as a regular visitor.

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