We went into the Bounty Hunter Wine Bar and Smokin’ BBQ, a Napa bar focused on local California wine and beers. After a plate of yummy sliders and some fine 2012 Paradigm Rosé of Merlot by Heidi Barrett, I decided it was time to fight jet lag with a cleansing shot of whisky. For some reason, I’d been reading the name Monkey Shoulder for the two days prior to this visit, so I wanted to try some. The friendly barkeep apologized – that was one blended they just didn’t have, although she’d been hankering to try some herself. We talked about it a little – how Monkey Shoulder was supposed to be an interesting blended whisky, with a nifty bottle, very much in demand. Trendy, even. How we both preferred single malts but really wanted to broaden our horizons. Etc. And as I was scanning their bottles, what did I spy on the topmost shelf, unopened and smiling down? Why, a new bottle of Monkey Shoulder, billed as the world’s first Triple Malt Whisky. They’d just started serving it that week, and the barkeep hadn’t been on duty.
And while I can’t say Monkey Shoulder will make me change my mind and switch to blended whiskies all the time, it was a pleasant, layered experience that combined a bit of caramel, a sweet roundness without much bite, and a nice long taste on the tongue.
Apparently, ‘monnkeyshoulder‘ is the term for a repetitive stress injury that the men who turned barley grain by hand, using shovels, used to suffer. I can say with certainty that drinking Monkey Shoulder, no matter the origin of the name, does not hurt a bit.
The Bounty Hunter website
Monkey Shoulder website
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