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Monkey Shoulder (2010 circa, OB, 40%)

Here we are, facing a blended whisky from Grant’s house, obviously produced using mainly the distilleries owned by the group: Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie, as well as a fair share of grain whisky. The discovery of this sample, an original 5 cl mignon, brings sweet memories to us, because at the end of our stay in Dufftown we were given this sample by the old lady- a proud and combative octogenarian Macdonald, that provided us with a good price bed and a very robust Scottish breakfast right in the pleasant capital of whisky. Since in those days the malt juice was not missing, we jealously kept the gift waiting for hard times, which fortunately never arrived. And so after a few years we turn the memories of that journey into a tasting.

N: a blended whisky that tastes like a blended whisky. The nose is very easy, without any alcohol punch, all played on a pleasant roundness: hazelnut, banana, porridge, cereals, orange peel, honey. And vanilla, possibly custard, some raisins…

P: it is a bit weak on the palate, we don’t know if the sample has lost something because of the long stay in the Dufftown lady house or if it is only the low abv. It has a very abstract (and not always very convincing) sweetness, similar to violet candy; and then honey, toffee and mixed cereals. Another touch of dried fruit (hazelnut).

F: quite long, between dried fruit and a sense of herbaceous cereal.

In the end this Monkey Shoulder, a name that derives from the robust shoulders of the now almost extinct malting shovelers, is a decent blended, perhaps a bit expensive (we are about 30€) compared to complexity, texture and the pleasures it offers. Too bad, we’d say, because the premises were good, since part of the recipe is an excellent whisky like Balvenie. We stop at 78/100.

Recommended soundtrack: Alberto Radius – Giù. This is a masterpiece and this is the incipit: At the right time / I know whisky / almost always gives me the answer / and I got the taste / I get drunk early / fuck the rest, the reality.

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