Drink Warehouse UK Blogs

Published on August 14, 2023.

New Product: Monkey Shoulder Smokey & Fresh

Why not try somthing new?

Monkey Shoulder was originally created to make perfect whisky cocktails and has been getting in the mix ever since. Monkey Shoulder was created by one of the oldest whisky making Scottish families in the world, William Grant & Sons. Still family owned today, William Grant & Sons has been distilling the finest Scotch whiskies since 1887. Early in the 2000’s the team at William Grants recognised an opportunity to bring the world of Scotch to a much bigger audience through championing cocktails and mixed drinks as a new way to enjoy Scotch.


They got to work blending Scotch malt whiskies to create an epic blend. After 26 tries, ‘Batch 27’ was a success! At the time, blending malts was extremely unusual, as most blends were made from grain whiskies. However, the Grants stayed away from the grain variations, creating a new category. 


‘Batch 27’ did not have the best ring, so the name ‘Monkey Shoulder’ was born to reflect and pay tribute to the traditional whisky heritage. In the traditional malt whisky making process, malted barley is turned by hand by malt men using large heavy malt shovels. Years ago, some malt men would develop a strain injury which had a tendency to cause their arm to hang down a bit like a monkey’s, so they nicknamed it ‘monkey shoulder’. Thankfully, the condition no longer exists but they are still proud to honour the great whisky heritage.

A world-first innovation from Monkey Shoulder, Fresh Monkey is a unique mix of three new make spirits – two grain spirits and one Speyside malt spirit – which have been blended unaged, fresh off the still and specifically selected to deliver fresh and balanced flavour. The mission was simple. The team LOVE a great daiquiri, but don’t make rum – therefore they had to get creative. Offering the freshness and versatility of a light rum but with depth and a delicate malty finish, Fresh Monkey breaks new ground by combining the richness of classic malt notes with vibrant tropical and grassy Agricole rhum flavours. Crisp, clear and made for mixing, Fresh Monkey adds character to sunny cocktails like mojitos and piña coladas or can alternatively be enjoyed in a classic daiquiri or with cola and an orange wedge. 


Smokey Monkey was created 5 years ago by Brian Kinsman, the master blender, and a team of expert bartenders with the aim of creating the world’s best peated scotch whisky (smoky tasting) for the world’s favourite smoky cocktails, for the world’s best bars. Whether it’s a smoky twist on a classic mix like the Ginger Monkey or a whole new experience with the original peated Scotch cocktail, The Penicillin, they have plenty of ways to tempt your tastebuds with the darker side of Scotch. 



Smokey Monkey is a small batch blend of peated and non peated single malt Scotch whiskies. Each scotch is chosen to create a smooth whisky with subtle oaky smokiness on the nose, with a taste that combines dry peaty notes with the trademark creamy sweetness and spice of Monkey Shoulder Original. It is the perfect balance of sweet and peat for cocktails and mixed drinks.


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About the author

Chloe Lewis

Chloe looks after all copywriting and proof-reading for Drink Warehouse UK, working with the Marketing team to deliver educational content to all our customers. She has spent many years in the hospitality sector, moving from behind the bar to now helping venues to stock their own. You can find more from Chloe about beer, cider, spirits, wine, non-alcoholic, soft drinks and RTDs all over our blogs, website, social media and Set The Bar magazine. 

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