Tag Archives: barrel

Monkey Shoulder


Monkey Shoulder: The term “Monkey Shoulder” harks back to our whisky making heritage. It’s a reference to a condition that malt-men sometimes picked up while working long shifts, turning the barley by hand. It had a tendency to cause their arm to hang a down a bit like a monkey hence the name.

The Whiskey is created by combining single malts from three of Speyside’s finest distilleries. The result is a smooth, creamy, supple and very malty Scotch which works superbly well neat, over ice, or in whisky cocktails (where it really excels).

Region: Speyside, Scotland

Barrel: Ex – Bourbon cask

Nose: This Whisky is elegant and stylish with nose of marmalade, cocoa, spice and anniseed

Palate: Very malty, creamy delivery with a suggestion of berry fruit. Cloves and butterscotch, hot-buttered-toast and dried apricot.

Finish: Medium length, spicy oak and a hint of peppermint on the tail.


Ok, so you’ve got some cash that you want to invest otherwise you’ll blow it all. The Euro crisis makes the equity market a jittery proposition and unless you’re South Indian you don’t see value in gold at the current prices. So you think hmm, what about whisky as an investment?

From a marketing perspective on the side of the brand I say go for it, spend your money on collecting these bottles of precious gems that will make you manhood seem more substantial and make you more confident. Oops sorry I digress, the thing is and to be perfectly honest, I’m on the fence on this one.

What good is a whisky really if it just keeps getting passed from one fellow to the other without being enjoyed. It isn’t going to get better with age (yes it will get rarer I understand). There has to be some fruition of all the efforts of the people behind the bottle that can only happen when someone enjoys it. Otherwise it’s the equivalent of the hottest permanent virgin on the planet, what’s the point?

Lets however step out of this passionate robe that still has the beautiful aroma of last nights whisky and discuss this with my maroo money making hat on. Should we treat whisky like a commodity and buy a few bottles or perhaps even a barrel or two to sell at a later date to make a tidy profit like wine futures or En Primieur ?

Sure I say, but be cautious, like all investments a significant percentage increase is required to make the risk worth taking, this will take time, its isn’t likely to happen with a 4 to 5 year horizon.  Markets fluctuate and so will the value of the stock you hold, do you have the chops to hold on or will it push you to taking to the bottle? Think about how your going to store or keep them safe – will the trader or distillery keep them for you? Is there a warehousing charge? You could buy them and keep your investment with them and sell it when you think the time is right.

Our aim if we are looking to buy whiskey as an investment and not to collect is very simply money. For now forget perhaps how we will manage to buy and sell whisky legally in India as consumers without the proper licenses and excise parameters. Perhaps you could buy a couple of bottles when you travel abroad, bring it in and then sell it here in India but it will all have to be done with your sneaky bugger hat on.

The brand, the year, the distillery’s pedigree, or whether it’s shutting down, the rarity of the whisky is all-important. Watch the price of your holding on various whisky exchange websites, be in the know, be mindful of exchange rates and only buy what you can afford to drink or lose.

At the end of it I have to admit there is something about drinking something that was made in another era, another time when perhaps you weren’t even around. Just to travel back in time through whisky somehow, that’s always going to be special and there will always be someone with enough money to pay for that experience.

If you think you can get the margins go for it, as long as you love whisky I think. Because if nothing else, you could always drink it!

By Nikhil Agarwal, Director & Sommelier – All Things Nice