08 June 2012
The Friday Belt: Monkey Shoulder Scotch & Jaws
I had been hearing a lot about a blended malt whisky called Monkey Shoulder -- available only in the U.K. and blended from Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie, it's a lower priced Scotch but considered a huge value for what it is. Tony Sylvester brought my first bottle on a visit to the US although it may, if not already, be available in the U.S. Look for it.
Bonobos gave me a needlepoint belt with a scene from Jaws. While photographing this Friday Belt, I noticed how thin the belt, made by Tucker Blair was and turned it on it's side. The leather backing seemed much thicker than the actual needlepoint.
For comparison, I yanked a J McLaughlin belt off the Corby Press and was surprised by the contrast. Only a thin backing to thick needlepoint. I won't comment on the quality of leather, stitching and overall workmanship. The Bonobos/Tucker Blair belt retails for $95 while J Mac's belt retailed for $195. Contrary to Tucker's description, "Really awesome" it's not. Of course, people today use "Awesome" to describe tap water so it's all relative.
Which is why J Mac no longer offers a needlepoint belt. I wrote a lot about their belts here. That's price competition for you and I suppose that's what consumers want. The best price. For 22 years, my clients put me in a tight pair of shoes and would laugh as they'd ratchet me down. That's what I want when I buy a blended single malt Scotch. Monkey Shoulder is $30 versus Johnnie Walker Blue Label at $200.
Actually, I'd like a Monkey Wrench better than JW Blue. But who am I -- It does makes me wonder. Are the same people who'll drop $200 for a mediocre Scotch, the same people who'd pick a mediocre needlepoint over something of obvious quality? What are your thoughts? The best comment- pro or con - get's the belt. Size 38. Never been worn. It's really...that, "A" word.