As one of the few remaining whisky distilleries in the world still using manual mixing techniques during the production process, Monkey Shoulder makes a rich and uniquely flavorful blend. This hands-on turning of the barley was once known to cause a temporary ailment for which this whisky is named. Monkey Shoulder has adopted the same time-tested techniques under better working conditions—and without the risk of injury—to create their signature triple malt Scotch whisky. The spirit has been available in its native U.K. for some time, but just recently launched in the U.S. in January 2012.
The first distillery to blend three malts, Monkey Shoulder is made from a trio of fine Speyside single malts—Glenfiddich, Balvenie, Kininvie. Once selected, the malts are left to mature in bourbon casks for a length of time only the "malt master" knows. This process lends the whisky subtle, but distinct smokey notes of oak that compliment the spirit's naturally sweet vanilla and brown sugar flavors. Each batch contains just 27 individually taste-tested casks to keep quality consistently up to grade.
Monkey Shoulder is now available in the U.S. from select Chicago stores and online nationwide at the brand'sBinny's for $30 per 750ml bottle. For more information on the production process and for heaps of inventive cocktail recipes head to e-shop.
Images by Graham Hiemstra