In the last few years, whiskey has grown in popularity. With so many brands available and new distilleries emerging or redefining themselves, it's easy to get overwhelmed with all the options. This column is here to help you learn the basics of various whiskies, scotches and bourbons before you invest in a new bottle.

The spirit: Monkey Shoulder

According to the website, the term "monkey shoulder" comes from the malt men who work to make this fine spirit. Monkey Shoulder distillery is one of the few places where malt is turned by hand. The men that turn the malt all day tend to have a hanging shoulder at the end of there shift. This is what gives them the unfortunate name Monkey Shoulder Men.

Monkey Shoulder can be consumed neat or over ice, but where it excels is in mixed drinks. This is a blended scotch that drinks like a whiskey. Monkey Shoulder is a superb blended malt scotch whisky, made with single malts. The outcome is a smooth, creamy, mixture or fantastic single malt scotch.

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Here's what to expect...

Nose: Vanilla and spice cinnamon with a pinch of aniseed. There is also sophisticated marmalade and vanilla.

Palate: Honey buttered-toast and dried apricot. Creamy butterscotch and toasted barley.

Finish: Medium length, spicy oak and a caramel sweetness on the end.

Price: $30 is a great price for this bottle.

Recommended? Yes, the flavor profile is perfect for almost any palate.

Booze News Insider Josh Hart is an amateur reviewer, but a professional drinker. He has been sipping and learning about whiskeys for a more than a decade and hopes to help you sift through the basics, to find the best bottles for you.

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