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Monkey Shoulder vs Smokey Monkey: A Whisky Duel


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Crafted in the Glenfiddich Distillery, Monkey Shoulder is a whisky that emerged from the Speyside region of Scotland, an area revered for its fine single malts.

Originally designed to be the ultimate mixing whisky, Monkey Shoulder has evolved with two curious offerings: Monkey Shoulder and Smokey Monkey.

Also noteworthy is the bottle, with its trio of mischievous monkeys on the shoulder of the bottle, which promises a playful approach to serious whisky-making.

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Monkey Shoulder vs Smokey Monkey

In this intriguing whisky face-off, Monkey Shoulder vs Smokey Monkey, I explore two distinct expressions from the same innovative brand.

1. Monkey Shoulder: The Original Whisky

Monkey Shoulder The Original Whisky
Credit: Monkey Shoulder

Overview

  • Distiller: Monkey Shoulder
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: Scotland
  • Colour: Amber

Review

Monkey Shoulder The Original is a blend of three different Speyside single malts that overthrow the traditional whisky image and invite a more experimental audience.

On The Nose

Vanilla sweetness with hints of spice and oak.

On The Palate

The original blend combines malts from Glenfiddich, Balvenie, and Kininvie. Vanilla leads the charge, followed by zesty orange and spices with a lingering spicy finish.

Best Served

Neat or on the rocks. Try it in a Rob Roy or a Rusty Nail for a classic twist. Perhaps a Whisky Highball.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

2. Monkey Shoulder Smokey Monkey Whisky

Monkey Shoulder Smokey Monkey Whisky
Credit: Monkey Shoulder

Overview

  • Distiller: Monkey Shoulder
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: Scotland
  • Colour: Amber

Review

For those who favour a smokier profile, Smokey Monkey is crafted to maintain the smoothness of its sibling but introduces smoky, peated whiskey elements that add a robust layer to its personality. 

On The Nose

My first impression is its bold, assertive aroma of earthy peat smoke balanced with baked apple sweetness.

On The Palate

A daring dance of traditional Speyside sweetness and assertive Islay-like smoke. Peat and barley are the stars here, but an underlying sweetness ensures the smoke isn’t overwhelming.

Best Served

I recommend you enjoy Smokey Monkey neat or in a Smokey Old Fashioned or John Collins cocktail for a smoky kick.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

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Conclusion

Andrew holding bottles of Monkey shoulder whisky

In this spellbinding duel between Monkey Shoulder vs Smokey Monkey, each whisky brings unique characteristics to your palate, and both play nicely with any whisky cocktail I can think of.

Whether you lean towards the sweet, smooth richness of Monkey Shoulder The Original or the bold, smoky depths of Smokey Monkey, both are well-crafted with a nod to the spirit of their Speyside roots. 

As a whisky enthusiast, both expressions have their moments and moods, making them versatile additions to any collection. Choose your dram based on mood, company, or the occasion—they’re bound to enhance the experience.

Also Read: 6 Best Glenmorangie Whiskies Cask-Aged To Perfection

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Further Reading

Below are some additional articles from The Drinks Geek blog. We write articles on several fascinating areas of drinks, including different brands, drink types, cocktail recipes and more.

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