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Jameson vs Monkey Shoulder: Head to Head!

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

Jameson

Jameson-marcas-de-whisky
  • Nose: Floral, marmalade, caramel
  • Palate: Ripe fruit, vanilla
  • Finish: Medium, caramel, spice
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Cocktails
  • Similar to: Writers’ Tears

Taste:

Nose is floral with sweet notes of orange marmalade and caramel with a bit of alcohol coming behind but nothing too severe.

On the palate the Jameson shows a good body, is sweet and fruity, with a high vanilla note. There is a pesky metallic note coming late to the party, not something terrible but weird.

The finish has a medium length, mostly sweet with a dash of black pepper on the tail.

Is it good?

It is a smooth and versatile whiskey that mixes nicely in any cocktail with no bad bite, well rounded and gets better when adding a splash of water, ginger ale or ice.

A few drops of water are enough to tune down alcoholic, peppery notes and that annoying metallic note.

Jameson is the top-selling Irish whiskey across the globe for two solid reasons:

It is smooth and affordable offering good value for your money; solid option for casual drinking or something not too pricey

Jameson facts:

  • Jameson is a blend of malted and unmalted barley aged for at least 4 years in ex-bourbon casks from Kentucky and ex-sherry casks from Spain.
  • This whisky is triple-distilled which is the norm in the Irish whiskey industry. Most spirits in are double-distilled but the Irish add a distillation as they like smooth liquors.
  • Jameson is owned by a French conglomerate named Pernod Ricard who also owns an extensive portfolio of liquors that includes Chivas Regal and Glenlivet.

Monkey Shoulder

monkey-shoulder-whisky
  • Nose: Marmalade, vanilla, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon
  • Palate: Malt, vanilla, orange, honey, oak
  • Finish: Caramel, oak spice
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Cocktails
  • Similar to: Chivas Regal 12

Taste:

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 whiskey, good choice for those new to whisky looking for something approachable and affordable Scotch whisky for mixing and a great Scotch for highballs.

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 whisky but a blend of single malts coming from 3 prestigious Speyside distilleries: 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.

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.
  • This brand is owned by William Grant & Sons who owns prestigious brands like Glenfiddich and Balvenie.

Jameson vs Monkey Shoulder: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskyPrice
Jameson$30
Monkey Shoulder$37

Jameson vs Monkey Shoulder: Which is better?

The Monkey Shoulder is a more versatile whiskey

WhiskeyJamesonMonkey Shoulder
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • The Monkey Shoulder makes a better overall whisky as you can drink it neat, rocks or in cocktails as opposed to the Jameson that solely serves as a mixer.
  • The Monkey is a bit more robust and tasty yet smooth providing more value.
  • Both drams are good entry-level to Irish or Scotch whisky. Once you get acquainted with these whiskies you can move up on the ladder to more complex and interesting pours.

Differences between Jameson and Monkey Shoulder

There are few differences between these whiskies for you to consider:

  • Jameson is a blend of malted and unmalted barley aged for at least 4 years in ex-bourbon casks from Kentucky and ex-sherry casks from Spain.
  • Monkey Shoulder is a blend of single malt whiskies produced in 3 of the most prestigious distilleries from Scotland but not a single malt whisky. The set of rules that govern Scotch whisky establish that only whiskies made from malted barley and crafted at a single distillery can be labeled as single malts.
  • Monkey Shoulder does not have an age statement. The 3 whiskies that comprise this dram are married in a tun for up to 6 months before bottling.
  • Jameson is a whiskey and Monkey Shoulder a whisky. Americans and the Irish add the E in whiskey whilst the Scots do not.

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