In 2005, according to William Grant’s, Jonny Cornthwaite, “Scotch was still a relatively stuffy category”, but the company’s ground-breaking new Triple Malt Whisky, Monkey Shoulder aimed to change all that and Mystery was fortunate to be given the opportunity to design the launch identity and collateral for this exciting new brand. 

Monkey Shoulder filled a gap in the category for a fun-yet-premium brand of whisky that resonated with both consumers and bartenders alike – and was pitched as the new face of Scotch whisky for a new generation of whisky drinkers or perhaps more to the point non-whisky drinkers… and it really took off. 

In 2012 the brand launched in the United States, but due to its unforeseen rapid popularity in that market, Monkey Shoulder fell into short supply for much of 2014 and by early 2016 had been named the “trendiest Scotch whisky brand in the world” in a poll of the world’s best bars by trade title Drinks International.

In 2016, Monkey Shoulder’s former brand ambassador, Dean Callan, said: “Being fun is difficult in Scotch whisky because the category is so established as being serious. That’s the whole reason Monkey Shoulder exists. It was created not to have the stigma of a single malt or the familiarity of a blend…” 

Monkey Shoulder bows to neither demographic nor category. It is about an attitude and approach to what Scotch whisky is, what it can be and how it’s used.  

Having designed the launch collateral, in 2016 Mystery was asked to develop the Monkey Shoulder brand identity guidelines in order to define and outline consistent brand communications.

We were also tasked with creating a new print advertising campaign, point of sale, bags, t-shirts, party invitations, training DVD and secondary packaging!   

“Mystery have been the driving force behind Monkey Shoulder’s brand design and creative executions since its launch. It’s a pleasure to work with a team who show a real enthusiasm and passion, combined with great concepts and attention to detail.”

Rob Curteis, former Innovation Manager, William Grant & Sons

William Grant’s even named a cocktail after us – The Mysterious Monkey!

  • 37.5ml Monkey Shoulder Triple Malt Scotch Whisky
  • 12.5ml Hazelnut Liqueur
  • 25ml Apple Juice
  • 1 spoon Honey
  • 2 lemon zests

Shake all ingredients and strain into Rocks glass, filled with cubed ice. Garnish with lemon twist or lemon wheel.