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20151215_194613I don’t subscribe to the theory of evolution. You will never convince me that we are descendants of primates.

You are probably not surprised by this.

I should say that I am willing to consider that mankind may very well be devolving into apes. Just look around. The evidence is certainly accumulating.

It probably won’t surprise you that I don’t subscribe to the philosophy that if you put a million monkeys in front of keyboards, one will eventually produce the works of Shakespeare. That will never happen. Although, I am convinced that the proposition isn’t necessarily far-fetched. In fact, I think that it is very likely that in some super-secret laboratory hidden deep below the earth’s crust, our Federal government has already tried this experiment. The result: All six volumes – 11,700 pages – of the IRS tax code. That thing could be nothing less than the result of a massive room filled with monkeys pounding on keyboards and throwing feces.

Speaking of formulating monkeys and feces, the Monkey Shoulder (batch 27) is by no means relatable. It’s pretty good.

When I’m dealing with a blend (which I seem to be doing more and more these days), I find that I’m rarely interested in chasing after the information which would reveal to me the source malts. I’m just not that concerned in knowing what they used. In my opinion, once the malts have been brought together, bottled, and presented as a singular beverage, the merit of the common union, the final product, is what matters most.

But with this whisky, with the first sip, I became somewhat suspicious. “I know these Speyside whiskies,” I thought. And sure enough, after a few clicks of the mouse, I discovered that I was right, at least mostly. This blend is a combination of The Balvenie, one of my absolute favorite whiskies; Kininvie, which I’ve not yet tried; and Glenfiddich, which pretty much everyone has tried.

Now I mentioned before that this whisky is pretty good – not exceptional – but pretty good. The only thing I can think is that the folks at Monkey Shoulder acquired some orphan malts that the individual distilleries noted above didn’t intend to bottle and sell as their own.

The nose is almost a “warm climate” merlot, which I did not necessarily like but I did find interesting because of the distinct and hovering black cherry perfume. It certainly promises something sweet.

The palate throws up signposts that The Balvenie is doing the heavy lifting. There is a general lightness to the initial greeting, nothing imposing, followed by a brushing with the autograph honey and a touch of vanilla. The Glenfiddich and the Kininvie arrive with a wink of malt and some earthiness to give it tone.

The finish is short. It’s there and then it’s gone, like any sensibility in that underground bunker housing the mandrill IRS think tank.