Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Looking For a Rental Property in Scotland?

If you love Scotch and love property, then I'm about to make your day.  Laphroiag is offering the most brilliant (or at least the most property-centric) alcohol marketing program ever imagined. Every member of the Friends of Laphroiag" program is given a lifetime lease on a one-foot square plot on the island where the Scotch is distilled.  According to the "contract," the distillery "pays you rent" in the form of a glass of Scotch if you visit the distillery.  Moreover, if you make it to Scotland, they actually give you a map so that you can visit your plot and they lend you protective gear to make sure you survive the schlep through the bog.

Picture 6

The lease reads in pertinent part:

This is the certify that XXXX is a Friend of LAPHROAIG and, accordingly, has become the lifetime leaseholder of an unregistered plot recorded at LAPHROAIG DISTILLER.

As condition of this award, we agree to pay a yearly ground rent in the sum of one dram of Laphroaig, to be claimed in person at the distiller. You understand we’re not offering heritable ownership or any right to cut peat, farm sheep or extract minerals from the plot – far better to take up your right to a warming measure of Laphroaig.

Steve Clowney

(HT: Thanks to my colleague, Richard Ausness for bringing this to my attention)


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Reminds me of the Quaker Oats "square inch" mentioned in Michael Heller's Gridlock Economy. What Heller doesn't mention is the Uncle Scrooge comic by Carl Barks, where Scrooge acquires a square inch, thinks there is oil on his plot, and goes out and buys up all the square inches. Who needs eminent domain when you are the world's richest duck?

Of course, Scrooge is Scottish, not Scotch.

Posted by: Thomas Gibbons NZ | May 15, 2012 1:47:17 PM

Not only according to the contract, they actually do give you a miniature when you visit the distillery and you mention you're a Friend of Laphroaig. They will also print off a certificate that you've collected your rent. I've claimed my rent many times.

I don't know how many have actually visited (judging from the flags you can see in the field probably thousands), but a few weeks ago they celebrated the 500,000th member.

Posted by: Armin | May 16, 2012 2:37:59 PM

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