Whisky Advent Day 3 - Monkey Shoulder
Appearance: Deep copper with legs of varying speed. Most are quick but the odd one takes its time making its way down the glass.
Nose: malty, cereal sweetness upfront with a zesty Orange citric note coming through shortly after (occasionally bringing to mind an orange boiled sweet); vanilla and nutmeg add a layer of complexity that I wasn’t expecting; for the price point, the nose cannot be faulted (20/25).
Palate: cereal maltiness follows through beautifully from the nose sweetened with a thick honey; succulent soft fruit notes towards the back of the palate (peach?); I get very little in the way of spice apart from a slight peppery tingle at the back of the throat (19/25).
Finish: very short and drying; starts sweet and quickly leaves with the peppery tingle. For me the finish slightly lets down an otherwise good sipping dram. It isn’t bad, rather it is reasonably non-existent and what there is does not develop. I think this would benefit from a slightly higer ABV (17/25).
Balance: Nose and palate sit nicely together only let down by a perfunctory finish. A bottle that would sit comfortably in taste and smell that would sit comfortable with some bottles twice it’s price. (20/25).
Overall: I think this was a nice surprise in many ways and I will get a bottle for the collection for the nights when I don’t want to think about what I’m sipping on and just want a nice drink. (76/100).
The Monkey Shoulder website puts it best and certainly gave me a chuckle - "Some say it tastes just like riding bareback on the wild moors of Scotland with a flame haired maiden on Christmas morning. Others agree it tastes like 007 wearing a tuxedo wetsuit."