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Buy It Now Rated A- Reviews Scotch Whisky Whiskey

Review: Monkey Shoulder Batch 27 Triple Malt

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monkey shoulderMonkey Shoulder is a vatted whisky that — despite being a blend of three distillery’s malts — is so rare that shots on the west coast of the U.S. have typically sold for $20 a glass… when entire bottles sell for under $30. I encountered a bottle of Monkey Shoulder on a recent trip to New York — for all of $27 — and snapped it up. (The name is a reference to a malady suffered by floor malters, who get sore shoulders by working their oversized barley shovels for hours on end.

The whisky has no age statement but is a blend of three Speyside whiskys: Glenfiddich, Balvenie, and Kininvie, with 27 casks total selected for each bottling by malt master David Stewart.

By and large it’s a classic Speyside whisky. The big malty character offers light, brown-sugar sweetness, backed by notes of heather and, intriguingly, distinct touches of iodine. Undernearth that you’ll find cooked fruits, chewy toffee, and notes of incense. It’s more exotic than you’d think. I keep going back to this malt… it’s an easy whisky to like but one that invites tons of discovery. Now that availability is finally expanding, keep an eye out for it.

86 proof.

A- / $27 / monkeyshoulder.com [BUY IT HERE] [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

Update: Brand Ambassador Freddy May clears up some of the info about Monkey Shoulder’s heritage and production in this email:

Batch 27 refers to the original Monkey Shoulder batch which was 27 casks vatted together.  The original vatting was made from our three distilleries we have on our site in Dufftown… Kininvie, Glenfiddich & The Balvenie (sometimes affectionately known as the KGB).

Because Brian Kinsman can’t possibly batch it in those numbers anymore we line up runs of 27 at a time for vatting.  Occasionally using other distilleries in the mix, but always three Speyside distilleries and always in first fill American oak (i.e. first time they’ve been used in Scotland).

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Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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6 Comments

  1. Eileen Ledgerwood April 25, 2013

    Mokey Shoulder is a hidden treasure. The Balvenie has a definite presence. All the Spec’s in Texas have it or can get it for around $24USD

    Reply
  2. Barbara Leung July 28, 2013

    Was the New York location Astor Spirits and Wines? They carry a lot of the ones that are deemed hard to find, it seems.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Null July 28, 2013

      Park Avenue Liquors

  3. Bobby August 9, 2016

    Grand Liquors
    Astoria NY

    Reply

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