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Monkey Shoulder is pure malt blended from Balvenie, Glenfiddich, and Kininvie malt whiskies. "Batch 27" on the label = blended malt from a total of 27 casks. The reviewed sample is compliments of @jeffc
Nose: strong intensity, lots of raisiny dry wine flavours, lots of vanilla, some caramel, baked pear, weakly-flavoured apple cobbler; great balance of sweet and dry. I like the Monkey Shoulder nose quite a lot
Taste: I wish this tasted like it smells. Both grain (yes, barley is a grain) and wood are eclipsed by the wine flavours. The palate is drier, much more wine-tannic and astringent than is the nose. The wine flavours are not quite as attractive in the mouth as they are in the nose. This starts dry and tannic, develops sweetness mid-palate, then turns sour moving toward the finish
Finish: tannic bitter and sour marc. Way too sour for me. I am not a fan
Balance: some people really like Monkey Shoulder. The nose is quite good. Otherwise, I'd be happy not to drink much of this. This could be another case of 'blending by the nose without tasting the whisky'