Recently, in Crete, I bought, on a friend's suggestion, a .75l bottle of Laphroaig. We drank some of it, then I smuggled it back to Finland (apparently being old enough to buy whisky but too young to take it home, even inside the EU - bah! I should drink the whole bottle in a week?), then we drank the rest.
So I had nothing but fond memories and www.laphroaig.com. My friend had told me that the purchase of one liter of Laphroaig automatically grants you rights to a square foot of the lands where this magical stuff is made - but only now did I find out that I was, having purchased the smallest bottle I could find, also entitled to a lifetime lease on one square foot of Islay, Scotland at Laphroaig distillery. So I sent in my name, address and the serial number on the package of my (now empty) bottle. A few weeks passed, and I received a certificate in the mail, saying:
SINGLE ISLAY MALT
LIFETIME LEASE ON A SQUARE FOOT OF ISLAY
This is to certify that
(title and name here)
is a Friend of LAPHROAIG and, accordingly, has become the lifetime leaseholder of an unregistered plot recorded at LAPHROAIG DISTILLERY.
As a 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 distillery. You'll 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.
Upon the Leaseholder's arrival at Laphroaig we undertake to provide a map, with adequate directions for locating the PLOT, and suitable protective clothing against Islay's rugged weather and eccentric wildlife.
The LEASEHOLDERS' Cupboard will contain at all times essential equipment, including: For ascertaining the boundaries of the plot, one tape measure; a pair of wellingtons, size 12, approximately one foot in length.
For the journey to the plot, protective headgear against low-flying GEESE; a thick overcoat to repel the inclement Scottish mist; a lifebelt and anchor to safeguard against being blown out to sea; one ball of string for securing trouser legs from inquisitive stoats; and a towel for the Leaseholder to dry-off in the event of unwelcome attention from affectionate otters.
No moment is more special than savoring our rugged single malt at its source to the sound of the sea. To do so is to understand why Laphroaig is the most rewarding and individual of all malt whiskies.