When it comes to blended whiskies, Monkey Shoulder and Chivas Regal are two of the most popular brands in the market. Both are blends that have been around for generations and both offer a smooth drinking experience with complex flavour profiles. But how do they compare?
In this article, we’ll be comparing Monkey Shoulder vs Chivas Regal to help you decide which whisky best suits your taste buds.
We’ll look at their production processes, ingredients used, aromas and flavours, as well as price points so that you can make an informed decision when selecting your next bottle of whisky. So let’s get started!
Monkey Shoulder Whisky has quickly become a favourite among whisky lovers around the world. The blended Scotch whisky is crafted in small batches from three single malt whiskies distilled in Speyside, Scotland – Balvenie, Glenfiddich and Kininvie. It is then expertly blended together in unique triple-cask combinations to create an exceptionally smooth drink that still packs a punch of flavour.
Monkey Shoulder Whisky was created with the intention of mixing as its main purpose. The brand wanted to craft a smooth and easy-to-mix whisky that can be enjoyed in a variety of different drinks. To achieve this, they made sure to use only select single malt whiskies from Speyside, Scotland that would complement each other perfectly when blended together.
Have you ever wondered where the mysterious phrase ‘Monkey Shoulder’ originated? The answer lies in the traditional whisky-making process, where malt men used hefty shovels to turn malted barley by hand. Unfortunately, some of these malt men developed a muscle strain that caused their arm to dangle similar to a monkey’s – thus dubbing it ‘monkey shoulder’. Thankfully, this condition no longer exists.
When comparing Monkey Shoulder vs Chivas Regal, great value for money should also be noted; it’s one of the most affordable Scotch whiskies on the market yet still offers exceptional quality for its price point. All these factors make Monkey Shoulder an excellent option for any whisky enthusiast who enjoys exploring different blends and tasting new flavours.
Monkey Shoulder vs Chivas Regal: Quick Look comparison
Nose: An exquisite, chic aroma of marmalade, Crema Catalana (yes, it is!), cocoa and malt. Subtly infused with vanilla and a pinch of winter spice – nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon – all tied together by an intriguing hint of aniseed.
Palate: Enjoy a rich and creamy taste experience with hints of berry fruit, toasted barley, cloves, butterscotch, Manuka honey and hot-buttered-toast. For an added layer of flavour 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% ABV / 80 proof
Price: £29 / $36
Chivas Regal 12
Nose: Experience the velvety, fragrant blend of vanilla custard, aniseed hints, a touch of cassis with lemon curd and buttery toffee. Pleasantly complemented by subtle wood shavings and dried banana chips for a truly luxurious taste sensation!
Palate: A smooth and creamy blend of barley malt, allspice, ground walnut, and caramel offer a pleasing contrast against the backdrop of banana chips on your palate.
Mouthfeel: Spicy, peppery but still balanced.
Finish: Aromas of light spice and black pepper linger on the finish, complemented by notes of cereal sweetness.
Age: 12 years
Cask/Barrels: not disclosed
Strength: 40% ABV / 80 proof
Price: £28 / $35
Monkey Shoulder vs Chivas Regal: Monkey Shoulder Review
Monkey Shoulder Whisky is renowned for its smooth and easy-drinking. The blend of single malt whiskies from Speyside, Scotland produce a flavour that is both complex and sweet, with a pleasant balance of spicy, nutty and fruity notes. On the nose you will experience an exquisite, chic aroma of marmalade, Crema Catalana, cocoa and malt which are subtly infused with vanilla and a pinch of winter spice – nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon – all tied together by an intriguing hint of aniseed.
The palate offers a rich and creamy taste experience with hints of berry fruit such as blueberry or raspberry coupled with toasted barley, cloves, butterscotch, Manuka honey and hot-buttered-toast. Dried apricot adds another layer of complexity to this whisky’s exceptional flavour profile. The finish is medium length with peppery oak and a mild menthol note that lingers in the finish. It has a smooth yet light mouthfeel despite its 40% ABV strength. This makes Monkey Shoulder an excellent choice for mixing – the perfect addition to your favourite cocktail or mixer drink!
Monkey Shoulder is an excellent value for money. Not only does it have a smooth and easy-drinking taste, but its price point makes it affordable. The blend of single malt whiskies from Speyside, Scotland produces a complex yet sweet flavour profile with pleasant notes of spicy nuttiness, fruitiness, and sweetness.
Monkey Shoulder is an affordable Scotch whisky that combines exceptional quality for its cost; thus making it an excellent option for any whisky enthusiast who enjoys exploring different blends and tasting new flavours.
Monkey Shoulder vs Chivas Regal: Chivas Regal Review
Chivas Regal is a distinctive Scotch whisky with a smooth and creamy blend of barley malt, allspice, ground walnut, and caramel. These ingredients offer a pleasing contrast against the backdrop of banana chips for an exquisite taste sensation. On the nose, you will enjoy a velvety aroma of vanilla custard, aniseed hints, cassis with lemon curd and buttery toffee. The palate offers hints of spice and black pepper which are complemented by notes of cereal sweetness. The finish is medium-length with aromas of light spice and black pepper that linger on the palate.
This makes Chivas Regal an ideal choice for those looking for a luxurious yet smooth whisky experience. Its complexity and depth lends themselves perfectly to be paired with food or enjoyed neat or over ice when seeking an exceptional whisky experience.
Even though it was originally developed for cocktail mixing many whisky fans enjoy it neat or over ice which is a testament to just how good this dram is.
For those who prefer something less intense than single malt whisky but still desire the indulgence of Scotch whisky, Chivas Regal is undoubtedly a great option as it combines exceptional quality with affordability at £27.99/$34.50 per bottle. It is truly an elegant blend for any whisky enthusiast!
Monkey Shoulder vs Chivas Regal: The comparison
When it comes to comparing Monkey Shoulder and Chivas Regal 12, the two blended whiskies have quite a few similarities. Both are produced in Scotland, they both contain a blend of single malt whiskies and both offer smooth flavours with pleasant notes of spices and sweetness.
The main difference between the two lies in the complexity of their respective flavour profiles. Monkey Shoulder offers an exquisite aroma of marmalade, Crema Catalana, cocoa and malt which are subtly infused with vanilla and winter spices such as nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. The palate offers a rich and creamy taste experience with hints of berry fruit like blueberry or raspberry plus toasted barley, cloves, butterscotch, Manuka honey and hot-buttered-toast. Dried apricot adds another layer of complexity to this whisky’s exceptional flavour profile.
On the other hand, Chivas Regal has an elegant flavour combination of barley malt, allspice, ground walnut and caramel that is complemented by the subtle aroma of banana chips. The palate offers hints of spice and black pepper which are complemented by notes of cereal sweetness.
In terms of strength, Monkey Shoulder and Chivas Regal 12 are identical. When it comes to affordability however both whiskies offer great value for money; Monkey Shoulder is priced at £28.74/$35.43 while Chivas Regal is priced slightly higher at £27.99/$34.50 per bottle making them both excellent choices when looking for quality blended Scotch whisky without breaking the bank!
Monkey Shoulder vs Chivas Regal: Food Pairings
Food pairing with whisky is a great way to enhance any dining experience. When the right whisky is chosen to pair with the food it can bring out unique flavours in each dish. Whisky acts as an enhancement, unlocking hidden flavour notes that may not have been noticed before. This means that dishes can be given a new twist or even come alive with unexpected flavour combinations.
For example, when tasting whisky neat, you may notice certain spicy or sweet notes in the flavour profile. However, when paired with food such as a steak or fish dish, these same sweet and spicy notes will be enhanced and will provide an even more delicious tasting experience.
Whisky also pairs well with desserts because of its contrasting characteristics. Its sweetness complements sweet dishes while its spiciness cuts through richness making it the perfect choice for foods like chocolate-based desserts and rich cheesecakes.
Overall, food pairing with whisky allows you to explore different flavours and get more out of your dining experience. It also adds complexity to your meal by bringing out aroma profiles hidden within the whisky. Therefore creating a unique and unforgettable sensory experience, so let’s have a look at some for Chivas Regal 12 and Monkey Shoulder.
Monkey Shoulder Food Pairings:
As Monkey Shoulder is designed for mixing, we thought we recommend food to go with what we think Monkey Shoulder works best in: Whisky Ginger Highball.
Whisky and Ginger Highball is a refreshing and easy-to-make cocktail that pairs incredibly well with Indian food. The sweetness of the whisky and the spicy kick of ginger ale brings out the natural, bold flavours of Indian cuisine. It’s also a great way to enjoy traditional flavours while still getting an interesting twist from the whisky.
The warmth of Monkey Shoulder pairs especially well with a classic spinach curry. The sweetness of the whisky helps to balance out the spiciness of the chilli in the curry while simultaneously enhancing its rich and creamy flavour profile.
Creamy cauliflower curry is another great option for pairing with Monkey Shoulder whisky. The slight sweetness and hints of butterscotch from this rich blended Scotch pair nicely with the creamy cauliflower curry which has a hint of nutmeg and black pepper for added depth. The dried apricot in Monkey Shoulder adds an extra layer of complexity that complements this dish perfectly.
Finally, lentil dhal can be elevated by serving with Monkey Shoulder whisky. Its notes of Manuka honey will accentuate the sweetness in this comforting dhal while also balancing out its spicy kick.
Chivas Regal 12 Food Pairings:
Chivas Regal 12 is the perfect whisky to pair with classic chicken peanut butter satay. The smokiness of the whisky will enhance and cut through the sweetness of the peanut butter, while its honeyed notes will bring out the earthy flavour of the chicken. The creamy texture of Chivas Regal 12 also works well with creamy textures like those found in peanut butter satay.
The hint of orange zest within Chivas Regal 12 complements the nutty flavour of the peanuts, making it a great choice for this traditional Indonesian dish. Its hints of dried fruit also heighten the sweetness while adding an unexpected layer to this delicious meal.
The whisky’s depth and complexity makes it a great accompaniment to a variety of dishes, especially when served neat or over ice. With its subtle spiciness and warming finish, Chivas Regal 12 brings out all aspects of this classic comfort food – from its nutty flavours to its sweet yet savoury taste – creating a unique and unforgettable pairing experience for any occasion.
Monkey Shoulder vs Chivas Regal: Cocktails
Both Monkey Shoulder and Chivas Regal 12 are blended whiskies, making them ideal for creating delicious cocktails. The blend of multiple single malts creates a unique flavour profile that is both complex and smooth, an ideal quality to be used in cocktails.
Monkey Shoulder has a strong malty flavour with sweet notes of honey, vanilla and dried fruits. This makes it the perfect whisky for mixers like ginger ale, cola or tonic water. Its sweetness will bring out the spicy flavours of any mixer, while its robust malty taste will add complexity to your cocktail.
Chivas Regal 12 also works well in cocktails due to its bold flavour profile. Its combination of malt and grain creates a smooth and creamy texture that goes great with fruity mixers such as orange juice or cranberry juice. The hint of orange zest within Chivas Regal 12 accentuates the fruity flavours in your drink while its smoky notes add a fantastic smoky aroma that adds an extra layer to any cocktail you make.
The affordability of these two whiskies makes them an excellent choice if you’re looking to save money at the bar. They are both mid-priced whiskies which means you can create delicious yet affordable drinks with minimal effort or expense; this makes them great options for parties or when entertaining on a budget.
Monkey Shoulder: Cocktails
One cocktail which really is a treat in a Pina Colada, and replacing the rum with Monkey Shoulder makes it extra special in my opinion.
Or why not try and Monkey Shoulder Espresso Martini
Chivas Regal Cocktails
Did you know that whisky goes beautifully with tea? This is because the robust flavours of whisky blend perfectly with the delicate notes found in many types of tea. The subtle sweetness of whisky will bring out the subtle floral and herbal notes of teas like jasmine or green tea, while its smoky and malt flavours will accentuate the bolder tastes found in black teas.
For an interesting alternative to a classic cup of tea, try making a ‘Saichoball’, a cocktail made from Chivas Regal 12 blended whisky and Darjeeling sparkling tea.
Or why not try the bananaball? A fragrant, fruity mix of Chivas Regal 12 with Banana Liquer.
Monkey Shoulder vs Chivas Regal Final Thoughts
The decision of which whisky is “better” between Monkey Shoulder vs Chivas Regal 12 comes down to personal preference and how you plan on drinking it, as both offer unique flavour profiles that are well-suited for cocktails.
Monkey Shoulder offers a smooth malty flavour with sweet notes of honey, vanilla and dried fruits, making it the perfect whisky for mixers like ginger ale, cola or tonic water. The sweetness will bring out the spicy flavours in any mixer, while its robust malty taste will add complexity to your cocktail.
Chivas Regal 12 has a bold flavour profile created by its combination of malt and grain that creates a creamy texture. It’s also slightly smoky and has hints of orange zest which add an extra layer to any cocktail you make. The affordability of these two whiskies makes them both ideal options when looking to create delicious yet affordable drinks on a budget.
In short, while both whiskeys offer distinct flavour profiles suited for different mixers and occasions, in the end it ultimately comes down to personal preference when deciding which is “better”.
Monkey Shoulder is my pick because of its smooth malty flavour and sweet notes of honey, vanilla and dried fruits, making it the perfect whisky for mixers like ginger ale, cola or tonic water. The sweetness will bring out the spicy flavours in any mixer, while its robust malty taste also lends itself to being good enough to sip neat.
In addition to its complexity and flavour profile, the affordability of Monkey Shoulder makes it an excellent choice if you’re looking for a quality whisky at a great value. This makes it ideal for parties or when entertaining on a budget without sacrificing quality.
The unique triple-malt blend found in Monkey Shoulder creates a velvety texture that provides a unique drinking experience. It’s said to be ‘crafted for mixing’ – but I think it’s actually good enough to sip neat. If you’re looking for something special and distinctively smooth, try this whisky on your next night out with friends or family – you won’t regret it!