A reference in a different thread to Dalmore Cigar Malt started me thinking about names. The fact that I'm on my third drink this afternoon has lowered my inhibitions to the point where I'm going to post some ramblings on the subject.
First, does anyone know why the word "cigar" appears in the name of this scotch? Tastes like a cigar? The color of a cigar? (If so, with what type wrapper? Claro? Maduro?) Goes well with a cigar? Different than other scotch in that regard? Is it a Welsh word? (What language do they speak in Scotland, anyway?)
Then there's the almost ubiquitous "The". For example, why don't they just use "Macallan"? Why is the "The" included in the registered trademark for this product? It seems rather pretentious to me, to the point that I almost stutter if I try to say it. I've noticed several others similarly named; it's not peculiar to Macallan (or should I say "The Macallan"?).
One could argue that "The" is no more pretentious, and no less informative, than the "Old" in so many bourbon names. After all, it's easy enough to put the age of the product on the label, making the use of the word "Old" unnecessary. And don't get me started on "Very", much less "Very Very".
Finally, is there a comprehensive pronunciation guide for the hundreds of scotch whiskies? I tried to ask a counterman about a couple of "L....." scotches (I thought one rhymed with "javelin" the other with "leap frog" ) yesterday while I was shopping for a peaty example for future exploration, and at first he didn't recognize either of them. I'd bet it's because I wasn't even close on the pronunciation.
While I was there, I glanced through a book by Jim Murray only to find that he seldom gives the pronunciation. By chance I did find "La gah VOO lin", which I never would have guessed. Sheesh!