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Copper Dog vs Monkey Shoulder: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Copper Dog vs Monkey Shoulder in this in-depth comparison and decide which Scotch is better for You!

Copper Dog

NoseApple, pear, honey, ethanol
PalateHoney, apple, orange, oak spice
FinishShort, caramel, coffee, oak spice
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkCocktails
Similar toDewar’s, J&B

The Copper Dog is not a Single Malt Whisky but a blend of 8 single malts crafted at undisclosed distilleries across Speyside.

Only whiskies crafted at a single distillery can be labeled as Single Malt, making the Copper Dog and “unofficial Single Malt”.

The nose hits with apple and pear at first followed by honey and just a whiff of ethanol.

On the palate, the Copper Dog tastes like honey and apple, followed by bitter orange and a bit of oak spice.

The finish is short and somewhat warm, with a bit of caramel, a touch of coffee and oak spice.

It lacks a bit in body and burns a little on the way down but becomes quite competent in cocktails such as the Rob Roy.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Copper Dog:

  • Copper Dog is the brainchild of Piers Adam, who bought The Craigellachie Hotel in Speyside, Scotland 2013.
  • The brand is named after a makeshift device that distillery workers used to use to steal liquors out of resting casks at distilleries they worked at.

Monkey Shoulder

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, Black Label

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

On the palate, the Monkey Shoulder 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 and makes one of the best Scotch Whiskies for beginners.

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.

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

  • 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.

Copper Dog vs Monkey Shoulder: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Copper Dog$29
Monkey Shoulder$30

Copper Dog vs Monkey Shoulder: Which is better?

The Monkey Shoulder tastes a bit better

WhiskeyCopper DogMonkey Shoulder
  • Neither the Copper Dog nor the Monkey Shoulder are the best sipping whiskies and are better suited for cocktails.
  • Yet, the Monkey Shoulder feels a more robust, with more body and a bit smoother providing a better experience.
  • At their current prices these Scotch whiskies provide good value for the money.