Cigar Aficionado

The Plot Thickens

The first piece in my master plan is in place.

I have just received a document deeding me a lifetime lease on a square foot plot on the island of Islay.

For those of you who are ill informed: Islay is one of the cardinal whisky-making regions of Scotland (the one that makes all the really smoky Scotch); and my master plan is to one day own a distillery.

This, the initial step in the right direction, comes to me through the largesse of Laphroaig, makers of single-malt whisky on Islay. You see owning a piece of Scotland is part of the Friends of Laphroaig program and comes with purchase of a bottle of Laphroaig and registration at

Having fulfilled both requirements, I am now the proud recipient of a lease for one square foot of Islay (plot no. 391520 to be exact). This may not seem like much, but with it comes the agreement from Laphroaig to pay a yearly ground rent to me in the sum of one dram of Laphroaig whisky. Fine payment indeed.

The catch (and there's always a catch) is that I must claim it in person at the distillery. Further, the whisky maker is not offering heritable ownership, nor the right to cut peat, farm sheep nor extract mineral from the plot.

That's okay with me. Now, the problem is convincing my wife to vacation in Scotland this year. Readers of my earlier blog will recall that I've been having difficulty convincing Ellen to tour the Bourbon Trail of Kentucky instead of going to Niagara Falls this summer. This may be a tougher sale, but well worth it considering the dram offered at journey's end.

My only questions are what cigar should I smoke upon payment of whisky (assuming I can convince aforementioned wife that a change of itinerary is in order) and whether I will need to include a Schedule E with my next 1040 to report rental income of one dram should I collect.

"Hi Jack,I paired a Dominican Santa Damiana "Selecci¿n Especial" torpedo with my Laphroaig Quarter Cask last week... the Santa Damiana's have wonderfully oily wrappers which are great with peaty whisky. Do check out the Laphroaig Cask Strength as soon as it's available again !Cheers, Rob (Plot No: 393658)" —August 8, 2009 07:48 AM