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Whiskey Wednesday - Monkey Shoulder

Updated: Mar 23, 2022

You thought we were only going to be reviewing beer, huh? Craft beer is definitely the staple of House Enterprise, but we wanted to dive a little bit deeper. I have been on a big whiskey kick for a while now. A few years ago when I was in Europe to study abroad, I took a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland. I went on the "Scotch Whiskey Experience" down the Royal Mile. I was blown away by the history of the craft, the different styles, the flavor portfolio, and the story behind each batch. Last year, while in Killarney, Ireland, for a work summit, I participated in a similar experience and was captivated even further.

As you grow up, you begin to transition your taste in booze. You start from stealing liquor as a teen (we don't condone this but it is the inevitable truth). From there you head to college and buy cheap beer and spiked seltzers. You graduate, you get adult money, you go to bars and breweries. Now you are the host as an aging young adult, you begin to create specialty cocktails and pour fancy wines and spirits, but do you know what you are even serving? Enter Whiskey Wednesday's. A play on words from the traditional college bar special, but instead of FireBall and whiskey sours, we're focusing on something a little more "higher end".

The purpose of this blog series is to help you the reader figure out the world of whiskey. The goal of this is to provide insight on the following.

  1. If you are new to the game, this will be a guide to help you make the right selection at the liquor store or while you are at dinner.

  2. We will dive into the etiquette of how to drink Whiskey as well as the differences between scotch, bourbon.

  3. We will highlight the history of the creation and the story behind the distillery.

First up, we have a go-to scotch, Monkey Shoulder!


Monkey Shoulder: Blended Malt Scotch Whiskey

Before we go into the review, it is important to note the different types of whiskey. Scotch is whisky made in Scotland, while bourbon is whiskey made in the United State (generally Kentucky). The main difference with scotch, besides geographical location, is that it is mostly made from malted barley, while bourbon is distilled from corn.

The Monkey Shoulder Scotch is an extremely smooth and creamy scotch that is the perfect starter for anybody unsure of where to begin. The flavor profile is packed with vanilla and winter spices, such as cinnamon and nutmeg. The second your lips touch the drink, you can taste the spicy oak and it warms you right up, but it isn't too overpowering.

It is almost certainly available in most restaurants, bars, and liquor stores, and the price isn't breaking the wallet ($32.99). It is easy to drink neat and works very well over ice or in cocktails.

In 2005, Monkey Shoulder was released under the William Grant & Sons umbrella as the new and trendy scotch brand. The story behind the name goes back hundreds of years, where the traditional malt whisky-making process was turned by hand by individuals called "malt men". They would use large shovels to help the formation of the barley. These men would develop a strain injury in their shoulders because of the heavy shovels, this resulted in their arms hanging down, similar to how a monkey holds their arms. Hence the nickname, "Monkey Shoulder". Obviously, the process has improved and this isn't the case anymore, but it is a nice little nod to history.


Will's Review

For these reviews, we will stick to the UnTappd scale, a basic one-through-five ranking system. The Monkey Shoulder OG is one of my favorites. It has a smooth rich taste and it doesn't break the bank. I consider it a perfect blend for either a nice dinner or a quick nightcap. For me, I'm giving it a 4.25.


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