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Do you say “Walmart” or “Walmarts”?

“Why do you ask?” is your refrain.

I’m from Illinois. Not long after I moved to Michigan I noticed a particular linguistic distinction that seemed to be native to the state — people pluralize proper nouns that are in singular form. I first noticed it when I asked someone where he worked and he said, “I work for Fords.” Silently I thought, “You mean ‘Ford’, right,” but then I heard another person say “I’m running over to K-marts. Do you need anything?” It didn’t take long for me to learn that this is very common here.

Now this regional issue does not threaten my sanity because not all that many people necessarily do it, and although it isn’t necessarily a big deal, it does cause me to bristle a bit when I hear it. It does so because I guess it just seems to be such a carefree and casual acceptance of less-than precise attention for detail in speech. I guess it also makes me think that grammatical apathy like this can go too far and meet its logical end when you hear someone say something like, “Yeah, my grandpa has old-timers.” You mean “Alzheimer’s.” I know these words sound similar… and I would imagine that Alzheimer’s disease is more closely confined to the folks in our community we may consider affectionately as “old timers,” but that’s not the name of the dreadful disease and it’s just plain lazy listening. Also, it’s a sloppy way to communicate and could become offensive if left to extreme ignorance.

Now to be fair, I should add that Illinois, my home state, is not free from such travesties. In fact, in many ways, we are worse. We don’t bother with just adding an “s.” We are mad surgeons when it comes to words. We go all the way and add an “r” to places it does not belong. For example, you may hear someone in central Illinois say “My car is filthy. I’m going to take it to the car warsh.” In some cases, we go even further and remove critical consonant sounds altogether. We can put you on the defensive, making you think that we’re going to steal your beer when we try to communicate with camera in hand, “May I take your pitcher?”

The point of this little exposition done completely in jest and for the sake of merely offering at least something interesting to ponder while you consider the whisky to be reviewed is this…

Detail is important. Certainly you can communicate in a general sense, and for survival, this general sense will suffice; but unlike the post-apocalyptic world of “Mad Max,” we do not dwell in a society lazily choosing words intended to just “get the point across” (although it would seem that the globe is spinning more and more toward that end). At this point on the timeline, I have to believe that we live in an era that still, to some degree, treasures precision. I know this to be true in the world of whisky. In fact, when it comes time to prove one above the other as more worthy of honor, the one who has been diligent in the critical care of detail wins the glory.

Dalwhinnie is a distillery that has paid attention to detail. And they flaunt it (deservedly) in their Distiller’s Edition.

The nose of this exceptional single malt is profusely and colorfully fruity with honeyed citrus. The palate, well, it warshes…eh-hem…I mean, it washes through and delivers the promised honey, but it holds back on the fruit and gives a little spice instead. The finish brings back the honey and spice, and then it adds a hint of peat. Very nice. It’s almost as if each step of the process was carefully designed by an electrical engineer at Fords…eh-hem…I mean, Ford, with precision “release” timers. All of the tastes involved are wonderfully detailed and well ordered.

I do recommend this bottle, and I would say that if a camera-ready friend approaches and asks, “May I take your pitcher,” my response would be, “Absolutely, but only if you intend to replace it with a bottle of the Dalwhinnie Distiller’s Edition.”