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Monkey Shoulder is a blended malt, consisting of three single malts, hence the Triple Malt neck label and the three monkeys on the shoulder of the American looking bottle. It is created with Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kinivie, the three Speyside distilleries in the hands of William Grants & Sons. The name refers to a muscle disease that maltmen often got after years of turning the malt with their wooden shiels in the maltbarn. I cannot shake the feeling that this blend is aimed at a young audience, especially after checking out the flashy website.
The first thing I notice on the nose is a bourbonny butterscotch, augmented by pears, prunes and even strawberry. Honeysweet, to say the least. Some nuts and a hint of mint. Very accessible and inviting nose, albeit somewhat light.
The attack is similarly light on nuts and honey, but gives up more citrus than you would have expected from the nose. Syrupy. Some spicy oak rears its head midpalate. Orange zest. Lacks some punch and depth, but certainly leaves many a blend in its shadow.
The finish is short to medium, again on nuts, orange zest and light oaky notes.
I was expecting a mixers whisky and am convinced it is often used for making cocktails because of the sweet character, but this is much more than that.