William Grant has secured a sponsorship deal with UK music magazine for Scotch whisky brand Monkey Shoulder.

The UK distiller has signed a deal that will see Monkey Shoulder, a whisky aimed at 25- to 35-year-old drinkers, run a sampling programme at next February's NME awards and have an online presence on the magazine's website.

Rob Curteis, brand manager for Monkey Shoulder at William Grant, said the company wants to attract a "new generation" to whisky, consumers who are slightly younger than traditional Scotch drinkers.

"Scotch is a traditional drink and there are quite a few barriers to drinking whisky in the minds of some consumers. We want to attract people who normally drink white spirits and who don't normally consider themselves Scotch drinkers," he told just-drinks today (3 November).

Curteis claimed the ease with which Monkey Shoulder mixes with cola would attract a younger crowd. He added: "Our association with the NME will see the brand getting in with the music industry and with grass-roots rock and roll music fans."

The deal will also see Monkey Shoulder sponsore the NME yearbook, which reviews the music industry in 2006.

Monkey Shoulder, which was launched last year, retails for around GBP19.99 (US$38), in the UK.