Monkey Shoulder has made it Monkey!

Monkey Shoulder ambassador Mikey Lowe. Photo: Christopher Pearce

Monkey Shoulder has done the double claiming both the Best Selling and Most Trending Scotch in Drinks International’s Annual Brands Report. Now in its tenth year, the Brands Report compiles the insights of elite bar owners, bar managers and head bartenders from around the world. “Who are these people and why should I care what they think (drink)?” I hear you say. Well, these hospitality gurus own, manage and head up the best bars in the world. Venues that have been shortlisted for major industry awards globally such as “The World’s 50 Best Bars (1 – 100) and Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards.

Monkey Shoulder Brand Ambassador Mikey Lowe is stoked by the results but says he had an inkling Monkey Shoulder would fare well again this year.

“Past polls have shown the trend from Malts towards appreciating the art of blending and straight deliciousness of blended whiskies. Monkey Shoulder happens to cover both, bridging between both preferences and fortifying its position as a stand out amidst the back bar,” he explains.

“Given past years’ results we knew we could take out both awards this year if we continued to support the industry and promote what makes Monkey Shoulder the key player in the whisky category.”

Monkey Shoulder ambassador Mikey Lowe. Photo: Christopher Pearce

This year 127 bars from 38 countries were involved in the poll. Countries with a higher concentration of high-end bars represented accordingly, meaning the USA, England, Australia and Singapore had the highest number of contributing bars. This keeps the pool of respondents narrow, in the know, and changing year on year depending on the successes of the past 12 months.

Top Trending BrandsBestselling Brands
  1. Monkey Shoulder
  2. Macallan
  3. Compass Box
  4. Glendronach
  5. Chivas Regal
  6. Balvenie
  7. Glenfiddich
  8. Laphroaig
  9. Talisker
  10. Ardbeg
  1. Monkey Shoulder
  2. Johnnie Walker
  3. Laphroaig
  4. Macallan
  5. Glenfiddich
  6. Dewar’s
  7. Ardbeg
  8. Lagavulin
  9. Talisker
  10. Chivas Regal
Source: Drinks International Annual Brands Report 2019

Each respondent was asked to rate their top three selling brands by category and the top three “Trending” brands – brands that are gaining the most attention from consumers and trade alike. The Trending list highlights brands that may not be moving massive volumes, but have plenty of “cool appeal” at this point in time.

“It’s not only a win from bartenders who have valiantly supported our brand, but also for the consumers who have been paying attention and become more and more discerning in their taste preferences,” says Lowe.

Overall the results highlight a growing trend where both trade and whisky consumers are looking to experiment with Scotch, choosing more and more to consume through cocktails, rather than only drinking the liquid neat or on the rocks. We see traditional Scotch brands drop from top positions this year indicating a shift in perception from relying on brands to determine choice, to looking for no compromise quality and flavour.

“Bartenders are highly educated in the Scotch whisky category, they know what is best in quality and how to use it,” Lowe says.

Keep an eye out for Mikey, who will be travelling the country this year and raising a toast with bartenders as thanks and in celebration for their continued support.

Check out the full Drinks International Annual Brands Report here and remember to always #MAKEITMONKEY