Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Review: Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

Trump:  Next question.  You!  Over on the left.  Go ahead!

Debly:  Moving away from ISIS and Sarah Palin's remarkable figure, I was wondering if you could tell us what you think of Monkey Shoulder?

Trump:  I don't drink alcohol.

Debly:  I sent you a sample with my tasting notes.  One of your aides said you tasted it, as it is from Scotland, "the land of his ancestors and the home of golf" as she aptly put it.

Trump:  Yeah, yeah, I took a sip.  Even though, I don't drink alcohol.

Debly:  Think of your opinion on this blended malt as a statement of your foreign policy on Scotland.

Trump:  I do love Scotland and I built a tremendous golf course there.  Absolutely tremendous!  It's a huge success!  . . . . Okay kid, read me your tasting notes, refresh my memory.

Nose (undiluted)
Citrus, oak, apples and a distinct but faint alcoholic note.

Palate (undiluted)
Smooth apples, caramel, honey and grapefruit.

Finish (undiluted)
Malty, mild pepper, lemon seed, a little rubbing alcohol chased by some slight smoke.

. . .

Debly:  Cheap price in the US.  Around $29.  Good value for money, but not north of the border in Canada.  At $59, grab a cheap single malt instead.  It may be a blended malt at 43% ABV, but not much complexity.  Actually, no complexity, much like your platform.

Trump:  Whoa?  Not much complexity?  Excuse me!  I am very rich!  I built a tremendous company!  I create jobs.  I will be the greatest jobs president God ever created!  We need to make America great again.  We don't have victories anymore because our leaders are fools outfoxed by China, Japan and Mexico, but I will change all that.  How is that for complexity?  AND!  I will win the Black vote and the Hispanic vote!

Debly:  Yes, but what about the Monkey Shoulder fan-base vote?

Photo Credits:  Photo of Donald Trump by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.  Mark Wilson's photograph is used purely for the purposes of education, entertainment and humor.  All copyright and moral rights are the property of Mark Wilson/Getty.  Photo of Monkey Shoulder bottle by Jason Debly.  


  1. Jason! You are back true to your word. I loved this! Canada is going to have to built a wall to keep many of us out if Trump gets elected (don't start buying your bricks and mortar just yet!). I have tried Monkey Shoulder. I inherited from a friend who got it from a friend who didn't like it, so it cost me nothing). I is just OK; I was disappointed I could not taste more Balvenie influence. For my hard earned fixed income, I'll take 2 bottles of White Horse Fine Old over this. Very glad you are back! Slainte!

    1. The key with Monkey Shoulder is price. I bought this in New Hampshire and got it on sale for like $23 - $25. At that price it is worth it.

      I was also expecting more because it was a blended malt and heard a lot of positive buzz. Upon opening the bottle there was a distinct alcoholic note on the nose and finish that put me off a bit, but oxidation was a good thing in this case. The longer the bottle was open, the greater the alcoholic note was diminished.

      If you visit the website for this spirit, much of it promotes it as a key ingredient in cocktails. I think this would function well that way.

      As I said in the review, $59 in Canada is way too much for this.


    2. Alcohol is cheaper in NH than Ohio. Tax is higher here. Priced MS and think it was $32 USD. Just got a bottle of WH for $14.40. Not worth 52 Georges OR Loonies. :)

    3. White Horse for $14.40! Good golly!

      At that price I would be hard pressed to drink anything else!

    4. Hopefully, you built that wall.

  2. Going through a bottle at present Jason.... Definitely one to have with Coke. Here it's around the $45 (Aus). and at 40% not much to write home about....For a few $$ less I'll grab a JW black or even go $10 more for the double black.
    (my only blends). It does however (for me) Ƨrap over JW Red. My workmates do like the M.S... But they have it with coke.... like everything else..Ha ha !!
    Love the review. Keep em' coming mate....
    AL (from OZ)

    1. Hi! Al, good to hear from you.

      One would think Monkey Shoulder being made up of single malts only would be somewhat impressive, but it is not. No complexity of flavor, and a disturbing alcohol note.

      What it does well is deliver smooth honey apple citrus notes in an inoffensive package that does have mainstream appeal. No peat, barely any smoke. And, I am sure it would go well with mix.

      Again, it is all about price. If Johnnie Walker Black is less, I would grab that everytime over this!

  3. Jason Debly, you are a total disaster! A loser! You have failed at everything in life! You are the reason I will build another wall along the Canada US border to keep the likes of you out!!!!

    Donald J. Trump

  4. Hi Jason,
    I agree with your assessment - the alcohol note (young) just didn't do it for me.
    MS is now available in Canada - not worth the $36 I paid in Bermuda, let alone the $55 LCBO is asking for it

  5. Jason, Good to read of your return. I've enjoyed Monkey Shoulder for year, evidently more than you. The straightforward malty nose (apples, cooked grain cereals, lemon) and attractive malt texture unencumbered by new oak is as good as it gets for me at $30 from Scotland. Alcohol burn in the nose or bite mouth ? Good gawd man, this is Whisky, not apple juice. OK< I knew you'd nearly lost your mind when you praised that watery shite Red Label for sipping. Hoo-wah, keep that crap outta my house. Welcome back, and cheers ! JK

    1. I did take a bit of an extended vacation ranging from NH to Jamaica, but now I am back.

      Hope you get some rain in your part of the world!

  6. First taste. Not bad. $34.95 in North Carolina, would probably spend $5.00 more for. JWB.

  7. Just finished Black Bottle and was considering Monkey Shoulder as my next exploration into low cost blends. Glad I found these recent reviews/comments on MS, as past sated reviews seem to give it high marks. Now, I'll pass on it and probably get another BB or JWB. Perhaps there is credence in the saying, relative to blended Scotch-drinkers, "Once you go Black, you won't go back".

  8. I never tire of Johnnie Walker Black.

    Thanks for commenting!