Copper Dog vs Monkey Shoulder

Copper Dog vs Monkey Shoulder | Which Speyside Blend is the Best?

When weighing up Copper Dog vs Monkey Shoulder, both are delightful blended whiskies originating from Scotland’s Speyside region. This picturesque location located between Aberdeen and Inverness is the largest whisky-producing area in Scotland, producing over half of all Scotch whisky available worldwide! A visit to Speyside will satisfy your craving for a truly special taste experience like no other. From Glenfiddich to The Macallan and beyond, the famous Scotch whiskies of Speyside have an established reputation for excellence. Notable brands like Balvenie, Glenlivet and Aberlour won’t leave you disappointed either!

Speyside whiskies offer a unique flavour profile, with their light and mellow reminder of honey, citrus fruits, vanilla, oak and smoke. They are often referred to as “sweet” or “smooth”, due to the low peatiness and smokiness. As such they make an ideal selection for either everyday drinking or introducing someone new to Scotch whisky.

The Copper Dog and Monkey Shoulder blends combine malt whiskies from multiple distilleries in the Speyside region. Each blend has a unique flavour profile that is influenced by its particular selection of malts used in the blend. Typically these blends include malts from well-known distilleries under Diageo’s or William Grant and Son’s ownership.

Whats is in a name?

Aside from the fact they are both from Speyside they are both named after aspects of the whisky industry in a nod to their heritage.

The name “Copper Dog” was born from old distillery workers who would sneak a dram for themselves using an ingeniously crafted tool. From disused pieces of metal at the cooperage, they’d fashion their own contraption—soldering a penny to one end and then corking it on the other side. To keep their whisky secure while traversing through each mill, they would attach this makeshift vessel onto either belt or braces with a chain attached.

And Monkey Shoulder was named after a condition in which some malt men would develop a strain injury which had a tendency to cause their arm to hang down a bit like a monkey’s, so they nicknamed it ‘monkey shoulder’. This was caused by the malted barley turned by hand using large heavy malt shovels. Thankfully, the condition no longer exists.

Both interesting stories harking back to the olden days of whisky production in the ancient tradition steeped in history here in Scotland.

Copper Dog vs Monkey Shoulder: Quick look Comparison

Copper Dog

Copper Dog

Nose: Trio of Peach, Pear and Dried Apple harmoniously come together. And of course, the classic Speysider Honey’d Cereal notes.

Palate: Chocolate Digestives, Nutty Malt, Orange Peels and warmly spiced aromas.

Mouthfeel: Rich and Creamy

Finish: Golden-brown pastries and sweet, sticky fruits.

Age: No Age Statement (NAS) unique blend of no fewer than eight single malt whiskies, slowly married

Cask/Barrels: Oak Cask

Strength: 40% / 80 proof

Price: £30 / $37

Monkey Shoulder

Monkey Shoulder

Nose: Marmalade, Crema Catalana, cocoa and malt. Subtly infused with vanilla and a pinch of winter spice – nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon

Palate: Rich and creamy taste with hints of berry fruit, toasted barley, cloves, butterscotch, Manuka honey and hot-buttered-toast. There is also dried apricot on the palate.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and light

Finish: Medium length, peppery oak and a mild menthol note that lingers in the finish.

Age: No Age Statement (NAS) However, it is vatted together for 6 months prior to bottling. But their combination of whiskies included in the blend is top secret.

Cask/Barrels: Whiskies, which are matured in first-fill ex-Bourbon casks, are vatted together in small batches for up to six months before bottling at 40% abv. 

Strength: 40% / 80 proof

Price: £29 / $36

Copper Dog vs Monkey Shoulder: Copper Dog review

Copper Dog was created in 2013 originally as a souvenir for those who visited The Craigellachie Hotel. It was developed to showcase the spirit of Speyside whiskies, namely those owned by Diageo of course – so arguably not a complete view of Speyside whiskies…

Developed by Master Blender Stuart Morrison with unique blend of no fewer than eight single malt whiskies, slowly married together in old oak casks. Copper Dog themselves are rather elusive about which include whiskies are included in the blend. But in an article produced by Diageo India they include whiskies from: Knockando, Rose Isle and Inchgower.

Aptly named after the ingenious method of distillery workers smuggling drams, Copper Dog Scotch is a unique blend of at least eight single malt whiskies slowly married together in old oak casks. This blend includes whiskies from Knockando, Rose Isle and Inchgower, as well as other malts from well-known distilleries.

What truly stands out about Copper Dog is its smoothness and complexity. On the nose, ripe fruit aromas predominate – everything from crisp apple to zesty citrus. The palate follows suit with dried fruit, vanilla and a hint of winter spice – nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon – that add further complexity. Finally, a light peppery oak finish rounds off the experience with a delicate yet spicy ending.

In addition to its flavour profile and smoothness, Copper Dog also benefits from being relatively affordable for such a premium whisky. With an ABV of 40%, this Scotch retails for around £29.94/$37- making it great value for money when compared to other Speyside blends on the market.

Overall, Copper Dog is an excellent Speyside blended whisky that stays true to its heritage with a smooth flavour profile featuring ripe fruit aromas and a delicate but spicy finish thanks to its unique blend of malts sourced from various distilleries throughout Scotland’s beautiful Speyside region.

Copper Dog vs Monkey Shoulder: Monkey Shoulder Review

Monkey Shoulder was developed by the team at William Grants in the early 2000’s with the goal of bringing Scotch whisky to a larger audience. The team wanted to introduce Scotch as an enjoyable and accessible a focus on using it in drinks such as cocktails and mixed drinks.

To achieve this goal, Monkey Shoulder blended a unique combination of no fewer than three single malt whiskies – Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie – from Speyside distilleries owned by William Grants. The blend is then married for up to six months before bottling at 40% ABV, resulting in a smooth and creamy taste with hints of berry fruit, toasted barley, cloves, butterscotch, Manuka honey and hot-buttered-toast.

Arguably many consider Monkey Shoulder to be good enough to drink neat, which is a testament to quality of the malts in the blend.

The result is a whisky which stands out for its accessibility and affordability compared to other blends on the market – retailing for around £28.74/$35.43 – making it great value for money. It also benefits from having a versatile flavour profile which lends itself well to being used in cocktails or mixing drinks without sacrificing character or complexity.

Overall, Monkey Shoulder is an ideal whisky for those looking to have an enjoyable experience without spending too much money. Its unique blend of malts sourced from various distilleries throughout Scotland’s beautiful Speyside region provides a smooth texture with hints aromas of marmalade, crema Catalana cocoa and malt subtly infused with vanilla and a pinch of winter spice – nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon – that add further complexity on the palate.

Copper Dog vs Monkey Shoulder: The Comparison

Copper Dog vs Monkey Shoulder The Comparison

When comparing Copper Dog to Monkey Shoulder blended whisky, it’s clear that both offer a unique and complex flavour profile with subtle nuances from the malts sourced from various Speyside distilleries.

In terms of flavour profiles, both whiskies feature ripe fruit aromas with a hint of winter spice – nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon – that adds complexity to the palate. Copper Dog has a more intense finish than its counterpart and dried fruit notes which linger on the palate, whereas Monkey Shoulder finishes smoother yet still packs plenty of punch with butterscotch notes balanced by berry fruit and Manuka honey undertones.

Copper Dog boasts a unique smoothness and complexity. Its flavour profile features rich chocolate Digestive tones, as well as nutty malt, orange peels and warmly spiced aromas – such as nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. This combination of flavours creates an intense finish that lingers on the palate.

Monkey Shoulder on the other hand is more fruity in nature, offering berry notes with hints of apricot and Manuka honey. It develops a smooth texture, balanced out with subtle nuances thanks to the addition of winter spices.

Both Copper Dog and Monkey Shoulder are excellent Speyside blends, however, each whisky has its own unique characteristics which makes them great options for different occasions. Copper Dog’s intensity may be too much for some palates, so those looking for a smoother drinking experience may enjoy Monkey Shoulder’s lighter yet still complex taste instead.

Both Copper Dog and Monkey Shoulder offer great value for money, given that they are both priced almost identically. Both whiskies contain carefully sourced malts from Speyside distilleries, creating an intense flavour profile full of complexities.

Both whiskies also benefit from being affordable – retailing for around £28.74/$35.43 – making them accessible enough to be used in cocktail or mixed drinks without sacrificing character or complexity. This allows whisky enthusiasts to enjoy these unique blends without spending too much money.

Thanks to their accessible price point and excellent flavour profiles, Copper Dog and Monkey Shoulder are both superb whiskies that offer incredible value for money. Whether you’re looking for a smooth drinking experience or a complex whisky packed with intensity, either one is sure to please your taste buds!

Copper Dog vs Monkey Shoulder: Food Pairings

Copper Dog food pairings:

Steak Tartare
Steak Tartare

Because Copper Dog is slightly more on the sweet side, it pairs well with dishes that have opposing flavours. For example, Copper Dog can be enjoyed with a rich and savoury steak tartare or a creamy pesto pasta dish.

Pesto Pasta
Pesto Pasta

The whisky’s sweetness can also be combined with sour ingredients such as pickles or capers – making it an ideal pairing for fish dishes such as seared salmon or grilled trout.

Salmon with Capers
Salmon with Capers

Additionally, Copper Dog is often paired with cheese boards due to its flavour profile of dried fruit and malt tones.

Mature Cheddar Cheese
Mature Cheddar Cheese

Its sweetness complements hard cheeses such as cheddar or mature gruyere, while its nutty notes work well with blue cheeses like Roquefort or Stilton.


Monkey Shoulder food pairings:

In contrast to Copper Dog, Monkey Shoulder is more on the fruity side and works best when paired with dishes that highlight its sweet taste. Its berry notes make it the perfect addition to any dessert plate – from a classic apple crumble to a moreish chocolate brownie.

Chocolate Brownies
Chocolate Brownies

Monkey Shoulder also pairs well alongside creamy desserts such as ice cream or crème brulee – bringing out the sweet undertones of the whisky without overpowering other flavours.

Creme Brulee

Additionally, it works perfectly when served alongside cured meats and cheeses – allowing its distinctive winter spice hints to come through without clashing with other flavours on the table.

Copper Dog vs Monkey Shoulder: Cocktails

Copper Dog Cocktails:

Copper Dog Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy

Copper Dog’s intense flavour profile makes it ideal for a classic hot toddy – both providing a comforting warmth and enhancing the whisky’s complex notes. Not only can this classic drink be enjoyed at home but it is also often served in bars and pubs – making it an excellent option for those looking to indulge in something special after hours.

To create the perfect hot toddy using Copper Dog, first heat up some boiling water before adding a generous measure of the whisky – around 25-30ml depending on taste.

Then add a tablespoon of honey, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg to give it an extra kick. Finally stir gently, then enjoy while still warm!

Copper Dog also goes well in a New York Sour Cocktail

New York Sour

The New York Sour is a twist on the classic Whiskey Sour cocktail that has become increasingly popular in recent years. When made with Copper Dog, the drink takes on a unique flavour thanks to its intense malt tones and hints of dried fruit.

To make this cocktail, start by adding 25-30ml of Copper Dog whisky to a shaker with some ice. Next, add an equal measure of freshly squeezed lemon juice, as well as one teaspoon of sugar syrup or honey for sweetness. Shake until cold and strain into an ice-filled tumbler. Finally, float a small amount (around 30ml) of red wine on top of the drink – this will give it a beautiful pink hue and balance out the sweet and sour flavours perfectly.

Enjoy your New York Sour with Copper Dog neat or over ice! With its combination of intense whisky flavour with zesty citrus notes and sweet wines, it’s sure to be a hit with guests.

Monkey Shoulder Cocktails

Monkey Jam Sour

Whisky Jam Sour

Monkey Jam Sour is a delicious cocktail that combines Monkey Shoulder whisky with sweet ingredients to create a unique and flavourful drink.

The tartness of the fruit jam paired with the smoothness of the whisky creates a dynamic flavour profile that is both refreshing and indulgent. The sweetness from the jam and Prosecco also helps to bring out the subtle nuances in the whisky’s flavour profile – from its robust winter spice notes to its hints of honeyed oak.

Monkey Jam Sour is sure to be a hit at any party or gathering! It’s perfect for those who are looking for something sweet yet complex – combining fruity flavours with warm spices and smoky notes in one glass. Enjoy your Monkey Jam Sour neat or over ice – it’s sure to be enjoyed by all!

Start by adding 25-30ml of Monkey Shoulder whisky to a shaker with some ice. Next, add 20ml of apricot jam or other fruit jam such as raspberry or blueberry for sweetness. Shake until cold and strain into an ice-filled tumbler. Finally, top off the cocktail with Prosecco for a light bubbly texture and garnish with a piece of candied ginger for added zest.

Show me the Monkey Cocktail:

Show me the Monkey Cocktail is a refreshing and unique twist on the classic whisky-based cocktail. Not only does it combine smooth Monkey Shoulder Speyside blended whisky with tart apple juice, but it also has hints of citrus and honey that bring out its delightful complexity.

Show me the monkey Cocktail
Show me the monkey Cocktail

Savour the delightful flavour of the Show Me The Monkey Cocktail and experience the fruity notes hailing from Scotland’s Speyside region! This delectable drink features floral aromas, sweet honey, and dried fruits – all perfectly combined to create a singularly amazing taste. Enjoy your cocktail over ice on any summer day for an unforgettable treat!

50ml Monkey Shoulder

25ml Drambuie

150ml Cloudy apple juice

Mint to shake and garnish

Garnish with a bouquet of mint and apple slices

Shake Monkey Shoulder, Drambuie, apple juice and mint leaves together.

Strain into a tall ice-filled glass.

Garnish with the orange slice and mint leaves.

Copper Dog vs Monkey Shoulder: Final Thoughts

When debating which whisky is superior, Copper Dog or Monkey Shoulder, the selection ultimately boils down to personal preference. Both spirits feature an individual flavour profile that can appeal to a variety of taste palates.

Copper Dog has a bold, intense flavour with notes of dried fruit and malt. Its sweetness is perfectly balanced with a subtle hint of spice, making it an ideal choice for those who seek complexity in their whisky.

In contrast, Monkey Shoulder boasts an invigorating and sweet taste that is sure to please those with a sweeter tooth. This delectable whisky also carries subtle notes of citrus and honey while delivering exquisite floral aromas. Perfect for sipping neat or as the star ingredient in your favourite cocktails, this rare spirit will surely bring unrivalled flavour to any occasion!

So which one is better? The choice is ultimately yours to decide; whether you favor a rich, smoky flavor or something light and fruity – both Copper Dog and Monkey Shoulder can be the ideal addition to your whisky collection! As long as you have an idea of what kind of experience that you’re looking for in your spirits, then one of these two brands will surely meet all expectations.

Author’s pick:

In my opinion Monkey Shoulder is a great choice for whisky fans who are looking for something both light and flavourful. Its ingenious fusion of Speyside whisky creates a remarkable mixture of aromas and flavours, ranging from floral tones to honey-like oakiness. It is immensely smooth in its neat form, with a harmonious taste profile that will not overwhelm your palate.

The unique flavour of Monkey Shoulder can be attributed to its careful selection of three Speyside single malts from Scotland. When blended together, these individual elements create a distinctive taste with intense winter spice notes and subtle hints of dried fruits and citrus. This complex Scotch whisky is ideal for drinking neat or as the main ingredient in an exquisite cocktail!

All in all, Monkey Shoulder is an excellent option for those seeking a less intense spirit than Copper Dog. Its well-balanced flavour profile offers something unique yet still enjoyable – perfect for sipping on its own or as part of a creative cocktail!

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