Monkey Shoulder is a vatted malt (blended malt), made by blending three of William Grant & Sons' Speyside malts - Balvenie, Glenfiddich and Kininvie. The three 'brass' monkeys on the shoulder of the bottle represent the three malts that comprise the blend.
Balvenie is, in fact, one of the few distilleries which still use traditional floor maltings. But you'll be relieved to hear that its maltmen are now assisted by a power-driven device rather like a plough.
The "batch 27" on the neck collar refers to Monkey Should being blended in batches of 27 casks. The three single malt distilleries of which Monkey Shoulder comprises, all lie on the same estate of the edge of Dufftown. Monkey shoulder is blended and bottled on the estate so could be said to be "an estate bottled vatted malt".
Review and Tasting
Sampled on 13/07/2022
Clear, golden amber.
Honey and oak with overripe pineapple, vanilla custard powder, cacao, zesty orange and spice (nutmeg and cinnamon). Faint floral notes with barley water, linseed oil, candle wax and baked pear.
Malty (biscuity) and very slightly sweet with waves of of creamy vanilla, balanced by dry toasty oak and old leather with spicy orange marmalade and ginger.
Biscuity malt with nutmeg and cinnamon spice, freshened by citrus. A touch of sweet maple.
Robust yet approachable, fruity and very quaffable. Superb value for money.