It is quite difficult to get what does Monkey Shoulder exactly mean. In fact Monkey Shoulder is the name of a whisky. Funny!
Monkey Shoulder is a whisky under the stable of William Grant and Sons. There is no distillery named Monkey Shoulder that’s why it is not a single malt whisky, nor is it a blended Scotch. Monkey Shoulder is a blend malts whisky (pure / vatted males in the past). The ingredient malts are blended from the outputs of the three distilleries of William Grant and Sons, namely, Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie.
In face the term Monkey Shoulder was appearing much earlier then the release of this whisky. Monkey Shoulder is some sorts of an occupational disease appearing to practitioners in whisky industry. At the time when manual floor malting was still exercising, maltmen did constantly turn the malts over to help malts breathing and temperature control for facilitating the process of malting. It is a long lasting and repetitive labor job that caused maltmen’s shoulders and arms pain and sore. Eventually they unconsciously hang down their arms for relaxing which look like posture of monkeys and therefore they nicknamed it Monkey Shoulder.
Nowadays malting is an automatic process. Though some distilleries retain manual floor malting, it is not major process in the entire production. William Grant and Sons named this whisky as Monkey Shoulder for saluting to the maltmen for their contributions to the whisky industry.
Nose: Raisin, fig, toffee, cream, vanilla
Palate: Dried fruit, toffee, overdone toast, dark chocolate, cinnamon
Aftertaste: Medium length, coffee grounds, woody tannin
Conclusion: Very good on nose, sweetness of dried berries and freshness of fig, plus desserts of cream and toffee. Light body, soft, still solid, straight forward. Medium length aftertaste, comfortable bitterness. This is a soft and balance whisky, cozy and easy to drink, a good daily dram, best for leisure time.