Monkey Shoulder launches its new peated blended malt whisky, Smokey Monkey, in Singapore with 15 exclusive smoky cocktails available in bars across town.

Three years after it was first introduced in the UK, Monkey Shoulder’s peated cousin, the Smokey Monkey, finally makes it to Singapore. This makes Singapore the third country in the world – and Asia’s first – to have the peated whisky (the second being France).

For those familiar with William Grant & Sons-owned Monkey Shoulder, the blended malt whisky draws spirit from three of its Speyside distilleries – Glenfiddich, The Balvenie, and Kininvie. It’s called a blended malt because all its components are single malts, unlike its blended Scotch counterparts which contain grain whisky. And while Monkey Shoulder makes a pretty decent dram, it was really created to be used in cocktails. It’s fabulous used in a classic whisky ginger ale highball, for example, or in a Scotch Old Fashioned.

Smokey Monkey is Monkey Shoulder, but on fire

Smokey Monkey takes a similar route as the original Monkey Shoulder, except with a peat influence. Like Monkey Shoulder it is a blend of single malts from three distilleries, with one being Ailsa Bay, William Grant & Sons’ workhorse distillery that produces a wide range of styles including a heavily peated one. William Grant & Sons did not reveal which other two distilleries constitute the three-part blend, but we can pretty much count on Glenfiddich being one of them.

As such the Smokey Monkey is a smoky twist on the Monkey Shoulder, offering a style that’s more Highland peat than Islay. It eschews the briny and medicinal smoked notes of Islay whiskies, instead offering those of burnt heather and woodland smoke atop the familiar toffee and oaky sweetness of Monkey Shoulder.

Monkey Shoulder and Smokey Monkey
The Smokey Monkey is the peated version of the blended malt Monkey Shoulder.

“We’re producing Smokey Monkey using our usual small batch and marrying methods, and delivering the smokey twist by blending a distinct selection of malts. Smokey Monkey has the mellow vanilla, spicy and citrus hints of our original liquid, overlaid by a dry smokiness that comes through on the nose and the palate,” said Brian Kinsman, Master Blender at William Grant & Sons.

“Monkey Shoulder fans will both recognise its familiar smooth character and enjoy the exciting new cocktail serves it brings with it,” Kinsman added.

15 exclusive smoky cocktails in bars across town

The peated version of Monkey Shoulder is set to deliver add a different layer of complexity to cocktails as well. To celebrate the new peated expression, Monkey Shoulder has lined up with 15 of Singapore’s best bars, each of which have created an exclusive cocktail inspired by Smokey Monkey to be featured on their menus.

Participating local watering holes include:

For example, Tippling Club is showcasing Brass Monkey (That Funky Monkey), a hazelnut, chocolate and banana twist on the classic Old Fashioned, while over at Nutmeg & Clove they’ve put together the Southeast Asian-inspired Monkey See, Monkey Taro featuring passionfruit, lime and taro flavours in addition to the smoky notes of Smokey Monkey.

Smoke Screen by Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall
The Smoke Screen by Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall combines Smokey Monkey, bak kwa-infused Monkey Shoulder, Amontillado sherry, and chocolate liqueur.

“It’s been amazing to see how Monkey Shoulder has been steadily growing in popularity not only in Singapore but around the world, and that’s mostly thanks to our strong relationships with top bartenders,” said ​Monkey Shoulder Brand Ambassador, Samuel Ng​. “Smokey Monkey gives bartenders an added twist for amazing cocktails, and opens up peated whisky – which has previously been a bit inaccessible – to a new generation of potential fans.”

“We’re giving back by making Smokey Monkey available exclusively in some of the best bars across the world, and right here in Singapore. Whatever their preferred cocktail, we can’t wait to surprise and delight consumers and see their reactions to the newest member of the Monkey Shoulder family,” Ng added.

So while bottles of the peated version of Monkey Shoulder aren’t quite available for direct purchase by the public, whisky lovers and cocktail fans can have a chance to win a bottle for themselves. Simply head down try any of the exclusive cocktails at the 15 partner bars, snap a photo of your receipt and upload to ​the Smokey Monkey Giveaway page​, and answer four questions. The five most creative responses get to ​win a swag bag including a bottle of Smokey Monkey, Monkey Shoulder, and Monkey Shoulder branded glassware.

The exclusive Smokey Monkey cocktails will be available on the menus of all partner bars from now to the foreseeable future.

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