Scotch for Whiskey Drinkers

Scotch drinkers are already preparing their letters to the editor!

One of the problems with Scotch is it has become so shrouded in mysterious ritual and secret handshakes that only a few folks reading this will understand the humor in this title. In fact, most serious Scotch drinkers will understand the joke, but some of the more sanctimonious souls will think I’ve made a mistake and will be taking umbrage.

Monkey Shoulder, ideal for beginning Scotch drinkers

If you don’t get it, don’t worry. It’s just another example of how the Scotch whisky audience has elevated their water of life from a beloved balm for the 99% to a jewel for the 1%.

Here’s the joke. People who prefer Scotch call it whisky – note there is no “e” – while in the U.S., where we drink blended whiskies as well as Bourbon, Rye, Canadian, Corn and Lord only know what else, we call it whiskey. Whisky is the knowledgeable drink for a person who ponders the mysteries of the types of peat on the isle of Islay, whiskey is for the person who orders a Jack and Coke or a 7&7. There needs to be a Scotch for beginners.

Bartender's madly at work knocking out cocktails with Monkey Shoulder whisky. (Photo by Wes Marshall)

It is with that spirit that William Grant and Sons has started to import the fabulously named Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Whisky. Note that spelling. This is Scotch, but it’s for whiskey drinkers. All those intense flavors of peat and smoke that the aficionados go crazy for are here, but oh so lightly. The Monkey Shoulder is a great blending whisky for cocktails, which is what they were demonstrating last Wednesday at the party they threw at Handle Bar. The flavors are light and easy to drink, so it makes the perfect drink for someone who has always wanted to develop a taste for Scotch, but found the more intense versions off-putting. William Grant and Sons is the company behind Stoli, Milagro (excellent blanco tequila) and Tullamore Dew (yummy!), so I bet Monkey Shoulder will be available all over town. If you like it, get thee to Opal Divine’s on 6th Street and tell them you want to work your way up to the rare Ardbergs, my vote for the gold standard of readily available whiskies. Of course, hundreds will disagree!

Cindy Wang and Freddy May from Monkey Shoulder (Photo by Wes Marshall)

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