Monkey Shoulder, Rihanna and getting older… @monkeyshoulder



Last Wednesday Rihanna appeared in concert at the Cape Town stadium. My dear daughter went along and I fetched her afterwards. What has that to do with whisky? Not much, but the concert was on the same night as the regular gathering of  a few whisky people, who meet to try out what’s new and exciting in the whisky world.  As much as I respect Rihanna’s talent, I preferred my evening.  Rihanna is for the youth.

Our host for the whisky evening, whose identity I will keep confidential, recently turned 40. What was the mild sniffles on the evening became the worst flu he has ever experienced. When we get older, what would have been a mild cold becomes a wicked bout of flu.

Some things are for the youth, some for the more mature.

However, some whiskies are for both the younger market and the more mature types. Like me.    I don’t agree with the PR release, that the whisky is for the new generation of drinkers. I think it is for both. I enjoyed it last Wednesday, with older and younger whisky drinkers. It is outstanding.  And if you’ll allow a mature whisky drinker a bit of creative licence, smoother and silkier than Rihanna at her best.

Here is the press release:



Forget everything you’ve been told about Scotch – all the stuffy rules and traditions that can prevent people from enjoying whisky are being ripped up with the launch of Monkey Shoulder, a game-changing triple malt from Scotland, available in South Africa from September 2013.

Monkey Shoulder is a free-spirited, fun-loving malt with an easygoing smooth, rich and mellow vanilla deliciousness that means it can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, mixed or in cocktails.

Scotch snobs say you shouldn’t drink whisky with ice or mix it with cocktails, but there are no old-fashioned rules when it comes to enjoying Monkey Shoulder.

“Monkey Shoulder is an authentic Scotch and therefore we want to break down the barriers and let South Africans discover a new way to enjoy malt whisky without having to worry about all the history and traditions that can be somewhat intimidating,” says Lauren Kuhlmey, marketing manager for Monkey Shoulder SA.

While authentic to its core, it’s named after an old tale about distillery workers –  years ago, they  would shovel tonnes of malting barley by hand, hour after hour. This hard work sometimes caused a sore shoulder and their arm to hang down, a bit like a chimpanzee. The men called this temporary affliction ‘monkey shoulder’ and the Scotch is named in their honour.

A combination of three single malt Scotch whiskies, all matured in oak casks that previously held Bourbon (that’s where all the smooth mellow vanilla goodness comes from), Monkey Shoulder is launched by renowned independent, family-owned distillers William Grant & Sons.

The time has come to demystify the stuffy world of whisky and introduce Scotch to a new generation of drinkers – and Monkey Shoulder is leading the charge.

Monkey Shoulder will be available in limited quantities at leading liquor stores nationwide from R 310, 00. Not for sale to persons under the age of 18. Don’t be a drunken monkey, drink responsibly.”

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