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Dewar’s 15 vs Monkey Shoulder: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Dewar’s 15 vs Monkey Shoulder in this in-depth comparison and decide which Scotch blended Whisky is better for You!

Dewar’s 15 The Monarch

NoseApple, honey, pear, caramel
PalatePear, honey, cinnamon, orange
FinishShort, dry, fruity, honey
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkRocks
Similar toDewar’s 12, Glenfiddich 12


The nose is light, with hints of apple and honey at first, followed by caramel and a bit of cinnamon. Just a tiny whiff of alcohol is perceptible.

On the palate, the Dewar’s 15 feels oily providing a good mouthfeel. First sip brings hints of pear, honey, apple, orange and a drizzle of cinnamon.

The finish is short-lived bringing fruity notes, orange, with a dry feel to it and very little warmth making an easy drinker.

Is it good?

The 15 YO is an improvement over other Dewar’s releases as it provides a good mouthfeel with an overall good taste, no harsh or off-putting notes and very little to no burn.

Do I recommend buying it? It might look affordable at a first glance but you can find similar or better tasting Scotch blends at this price range.

For a bit less you can get the Aberfeldy 12 which is a Single Malt and the biggest source of malts in the Dewar’s blend as these are sister brands.

Dewar’s 15 facts:

  • This is a blended Scotch made from up to 40 different whiskies.
  • The whiskies are aged in either ex-bourbon or ex-sherry before being happily married in oak casks.
  • Dewar’s is owned by Bermuda-based Bacardi.

Monkey Shoulder 12

NoseMarmalade, vanilla, baking spice
PalateMalt, vanilla, orange, honey, oak
FinishShort, caramel, oak spice
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toFamous Grouse, JW 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.

Is it good?

Monkey Shoulder is an easy drinking whisky, 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 Scotch-based mixed drink.

Monkey Shoulder facts:

  • 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.

What’s the difference between Dewar’s 15 and Monkey Shoulder?

These whiskies are blends but the Dewar’s is a blend of 40 different grain and malt whiskies while the Monkey Shoulder is blend of single malts coming from: 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.

In general, whiskies made from malted barley tend to be smoother than those from grain.

Dewar’s 15 vs Monkey Shoulder: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Dewar’s 15$37
Monkey Shoulder$30

Dewar’s 15 vs Monkey Shoulder: Which is better?

The Monkey Shoulder offers better value

WhiskeyDewar’s 15Monkey Shoulder
  • The Monkey Shoulder might well be the best Scotch at this price range making it a good deal.
  • It drinks well on the rocks and becomes remarkably good in cocktails making a versatile and enjoyable whisky.
  • Not a Single Malt but a blend of Single Malts coming from prestigious distilleries providing good value.
  • The Dewar’s 15 is not bad, is just that sits at a price in which there are better options at that range.