I doubt OSHA would approve of a whiskey named after a workplace injury. But since the brave men who developed "monkey shoulder" did so by turning the malts by hand for Scotch, I'll excuse the offbeat marketing and hoist a snifter of Monkey Shoulder in their honor. Especially because this new blend from William Grant has a lot to offer for $31. This deep amber spirit, made from the malts of three neighboring distilleries in Dufftown, Speyside (Kininvie, the Balvenie, and Glenfiddich), seemed to release all of its aromas over a cube or two of ice, giving off toffee, nutmeg spice, cocoa, and orange peel. A fine beginner's Scotch at a nice, gifty price. Repetitive stress not included.
- Craig LaBan
Monkey Shoulder blended Scotch (86 proof), $30.99 (code 34173) online only in Pennsylvania (with free shipping) at finewineandgoodspirits.com.
A sip of soup
Soup season is upon us, and Philly-based Good Spoon Foods is peddling seasonal varieties like local butternut squash with Gala apples and a touch of ginger. Forthcoming winter varieties include turkey-and-white-bean chili and Italian wedding soup, available frozen at the Fair Food Farmstand or fresh at the season's last farmer's markets.
- Samantha Melamed
Butternut Squash Soup from Good Spoon Food, $7.75 for a quart at Fair Food Farmstand at Reading Terminal Market, 12th and Arch Streets, Philadelphia, 215-386-5211.