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Aberfeldy 12 vs Monkey Shoulder: Head to Head!

Discover the difference between Aberfeldy 12 vs Monkey Shoulder in this in-depth comparison and decide which Single Malt is better for You!

Aberfeldy 12

aberfeldy-12-year-single-malt
NoseHoney, caramel, vanilla, pear
PalateCaramel, apple, orange
FinishMedium, oak spice, roasted nuts
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toBlack Label, Glenfiddich 12

The nose is subtle and sweet with hints of honey and caramel up-front, followed by vanilla and pear.

On the palate, the Aberfeldy 12 offers a creamy body providing a good mouthfeel. Flavor is sweet and rich in caramel, with hints of apple, citrus and a fair amount of oak spice bringing balance to the sweetness.

There is a tiny tad of smoke that is barely noticeable.

The finish has a decent length, with a bit of a bite, but nothing extreme, with some oak spice to it and a roasted nuts hint.

Aberfeldy will not blow you away with strong flavors, remarkable and memorable tasting notes and is not something to get too excited over but it’s nevertheless an enjoyable dram; its price makes it interesting.

Overall, Aberfeldy 12 is a good introductory bottle to single malt Scotch, it’s reasonably pricedwell rounded with nothing outstanding yet nothing off-putting.

The best way of drinking the Aberfeldy is by adding a few drops of water, just a splash of water is enough to open-up the whisky releasing nice aromas while tuning-down warmth and spicy notes.

It offers an approachable flavor profile that stacks up well with better-known brands.

Learn how it compares to the Highland Park 12!

  • Aberfeldy is aged in a combination of Sherry, Bourbon, re-fill and re-char casks.
  • Gold medal at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
  • Aberfeldy Distillery was founded by the John Dewar & Sons, Ltd. in 1896, is located on the eastern outskirts of Aberfeldy.
  • The distillery is one of two single malt distilleries that comprise the Dewar’s as they are owned by the same parent company (Bacardi).
  • Aberfeldy is a Highland Whisky. This region offers an enormous diversity of flavors and characters. From lighter whiskies all the way through salty coastal malts.

Monkey Shoulder

monkey-shoulder-whisky
NoseMarmalade, vanilla, baking spice
PalateMalt, vanilla, orange, honey, oak
FinishShort, caramel, oak spice
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toChivas Regal 12, Jameson

The nose brings a marmalade aroma, with hints of vanilla, nutmeg, clove and cinnamon.

On the palate, the Monkey Shoulder (Review) feels smooth and creamy with very little heat on the first sip. Hints of vanilla, orange and honey pop-up, followed by a bit of oak spice bitterness.

The finish is short, with a tad of caramel and more oak spice bitterness to it.

The Monkey Shoulder becomes better when adding a drop of water as it becomes sweeter, while subduing the oak spice note.

Monkey Shoulder is an easy whiskey, good choice for those new to whisky looking for something approachable and affordable.

Where this whisky shines is in cocktails as its flavor profiles mixes incredibly well in any cocktail.

The Monkey Shoulder is not a Single Malt Scotch but a blend of single malts coming from 3 different distilleries across Scotland: Balvenie, Glenfiddich, and Kinnivie.

It can’t be considered a single malt as the set of regulations that govern Scotch whisky require single malts to be made at a single distillery.

Learn how to the Monkey Shoulder compares to the Johnnie Walker Black Label!

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Monkey Shoulder:

  • Bottled at 80 proof (40% ABV).
  • This whisky is a blend of malts with no age statement.
  • The name Monkey Shoulder comes from an injury that the maltmen (those that hand turn the grain in a malthouse) would get as it would leave one arm hanging.
  • Monkey Shoulder is owned by Williams Grant & Sons along Glenfiddich and Balvenie.

Difference between Aberfeldy 12 and Monkey Shoulder

Aberfeldy is a Single Malt and Monkey Shoulder a blend

  • Aberfeldy is a single malt whisky made exclusively from malted barley, at a single distillery with a 12 year age statement.
  • Monkey Shoulder is a blend of 3 different single malt whiskies, made at different distilleries with no age statement.

Aberfeldy vs Monkey Shoulder: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Aberfeldy 12$45
Monkey Shoulder$37

Aberfeldy 12 vs Monkey Shoulder: Which is better?

Monkey Shoulder is a champ in terms of value

WhiskeyAberfeldy 12Monkey Shoulder
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • The Monkey Shoulder is not a single malt but tastes quite well and is offered at a price hard to beat making it a great value play.
  • It feels a bit peppery on the finish but a large ice ball is enough to tune it down making it quite good.
  • It’s also quite versatile as you can use it a mixer to make cocktails and you can go as far as drinking it with Red Bull or Coke.

Keep in mind that being a single malt does make a whisky better. Look at the Johnnie Walker Blue Label which is also a blend and is one of the best-selling premium whiskies.

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