Status goods change over time

In Scotland, you can buy a 16th-century castle for a little more than a million dollars.

On Wednesday, someone paid a similar amount for a 750-milliliter bottle of single malt whisky described as “the Holy Grail” of the dark alcoholic spirit: just over $1.1 million, a record.

The 60-year-old Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 is “one of the rarest and most desirable bottles ever produced,” according to a specialist at Bonhams, the auction house in Scotland that made the sale. The price included a bid of 700,000 pounds, or about $900,000, plus a £148,000 sales premium.

The identity of the private buyer was not revealed. But a Bonhams spokesman said on Wednesday that the person was from Asia and had made the bid over the phone.

That is from Anna Schaverien at The New York Times.  Do note that it is harder to steal a castle:

If the new buyer chooses to preserve the bottle untouched, the fate of the world’s most expensive bottle of vodka serves as a cautionary tale.

The gold and silver bottle, with its diamond-encrusted cap, which was said to be worth $1.3 million, was stolen from a bar in Copenhagen in January.

After days of searching, the police found the bottle dented — and empty.


...I'd still prefer the castle, thanks.

So would I, but it's a pretty weak castle. No moat, no turrets, parapet, or portcullis. Good luck pouring boiling oil on anyone from a roof shaped like that, too. You move in there, you might as well stamp 'vassal' on your forehead.

They said i was daft to build a castle in the swamp..

It's just not a castle. At all.

Americans would call it a country house, but Historic Environment Scotland seems satisfied that it is a Grade A listed castle. Not all castles look like Neuschwanstein or the one in Disney World.

Castles are fortified. This is not.

Reminds one of Trump Castle. A gambling den with games of chance where mathematically the house always wins. Always, unless the house has TRUMP written on it. Even the Central Limit Theorem and the Fundamental Laws of Algebra can't save it. No wonder Trump hates science and Muslim math.

Wee dram. I once accepted 30 to 40 bottles of very good, and expensive, cabs as a fee for representing the client when he sold his house with a wine cellar with at least a thousand bottles of wine. He told me that most of the wine would be sold at an auction because his replacement house had no wine cellar so I offered to accept the wine as my fee. I put the bottles in the wine rack in the closet I inherited when I bought my house. Many months later my son visited from Colorado while I was away. When I returned most of the wine was gone, my son having hosted a party for his many friends in the city were had had grown up. They had no idea of the value of what they had consumed. That was about 20-25 years ago. My son and I have a good laugh reminiscing about the experience. No, Brett Kavanaugh was not at the party.

At least they didnt try to water it down and hide it

But the thought of all that chewy cali cab sloshing around in red plastic beer cups remains better left alone

... We mixed it with 7-up and made spritzers!

Did you accuse your son and deem him “guilty” without corroborating evidence, rayward?

Time and again modern readers are assured that cruelty was absent or exceedingly rare in American slavery. James Hammon, a wealthy slaveholder in South Carolina in 1845, said “But if your course was wholly different…what era of ‘moral suasion; do you imagine you could prevail on us to give up a thousand millions of dollars in the value of our slaves…” Samuel May, a lawyer said in defense of slavery in 1835, “But it was consented to by the founders of the Republic. It was provided for in the Constitution of the Union…we cannot let you succeed.”

And it's 7:05

Interesting comment on slavery being bad. I had never thought of it that way before. Makes me wonder if anything else that has ever happened has been bad. Man, I have some serious thinking to do.

Son probably went to the Beach Week Ralph Club and fooled around with Dirty Triangles and such. And yes lied about it under oath. Sounds like somebody we know.

What are the taxes on the castle?

even uglier: maintenance costs, depreciation...

Not to mention Banquos ghost roaming around

Why do you want to pay taxes? Instead call up All County Building Supply & Maintenance in New York. Tell them Very Stable Genius Donald sent you. With a few fake inflated invoices, they will take care of all your "taxes". These are good people. The best.

I'm not sure the British-era Scottish-type of castles were ever considered status symbol amongst the inhabitants - they have nice size (ideal if you are a family of 5 and have just as many servants), but if you look at the facade they are pretty much undecorated. They have historical value, but architecturally they are rather uninteresting, the propery itself is often worth more. Especially if the rooms were renovated by a crew of imbeciles. I mean look at that bathroom: what a moron of interior designer decides to put that cheap IKEA fish motives on the wall?

They said i was daft to build a castle in the swamp..

new ad
built not bought
perhaps not built but borrowed/bought
from Canada here?

They didn't build a shower enclosure? So the water just sprays onto the floor? Are they animals? Europeans...

Castles also fall apart and depreciate faster than whisky bottles.

Castles are also harder to hide from the authorities, and to use as a store of value safe from the eyes of the CCP.

Somebody should have told this to Trump before he built Trump Castle. Maybe that's why he went bankrupt so many times.

A million dollars won't buy a starter home in many neighborhoods.

You must not really be in Philly, where it will buy three of them.

I'll take the castle. I'm a pretty good renovator and I can flip it for a few hundred thousand profit, or turn it into a hotel. The bottle would be empty in a week.


7214 Emlen St in West Mount Airy, Philadelphia, PA 19119

$339,500 | 4 bd • 3 ba

See details at

That's the size of my family home that I've owned for 34 years. I guess a starter house in Philly must be $175,000.

Not a neighborhood most would like to live in, so I don't understand your point. Sure you can buy a cheap house in a lot of neighborhoods in and around Philly, but othet neighborhoods are more pricy.

My point is just that Philly is a bargain. What is wrong with Mount Airy? That's quite a fancy house for the price of a one-bedroom condo in Chicago, where I live.

Probably you cannot tear down the castle to rebuild a modern house on it, since it's historical, and as said upstream there's maintenance. So $1M may in fact be overpriced.

Bonus trivia: somebody mistakenly ate a bulb during the Tulip Mania that was worth the price of a house.

For the same price you can buy that gas station and enjoy positive cash flow

It comes with a *lot* of land, so you can probably leave the castle alone and build a modern house near it. That is a common practice in Ireland. I don't know that much about Scotland.

Vodka? A bottle of vodka worth over USD$1milliion? I don't doubt there may be a significant differences between one single-malt scotch and another, but, vodka??

Vokda is diluted ethanol: just alcohol watered down to the desired proof.

"Status goods" indeed. More like the The Emperor's New Status Clothing.

According to the article the value was in the bottle rather than the spirit inside. Almost the opposite of the whiskey. Though if you decant the whisky how much would it damage the resale value?

Yes, decanting would impair the value. One, because it introduces oxygen so it must then be consumed. But also (related) because when you spend $1 million on a bottle of booze, you are not buying it to drink it. You are buying it to possess it; and to show it off. Think of it more as a piece of art.

I might like this castle, but the family would not be with me. They would not respect my ability to grumble as I, in an old jumper, stoke a fire against the damp.

"The 60-year-old Macallan Valerio Adami 1926".
60-year-old? How does that work?

"The whisky, sold at Bonhams in Edinburgh to an unknown buyer, is officially described as a 60 years old, having been created in 1926 and bottled in 1986"

Age is cask time. Aging stops when bottled

You don't drink fine whisky do you?

Thanks for the explanation.

I do not drink whisky fine or otherwise.

Price is equivalent to "global market value" in this case. What's the market rate for a 16th Cent castle.

The gold and silver bottle, with its diamond-encrusted cap

The bottle is dented and empty and the diamonds....?

People laugh at this sort of thing , but I guarantee you that there are people who can assess whisky better than the best comparative lit professor can assess the best novels of yesteryear.

Wine is even more easy to assess.

As for me, I am one of the tens of millions of people who can tell a good cigar from a cigar that did not work out well, but I am also someone who is easily tricked by added flavors in wines and spirits ....

Dogs have been around for a long time (for those among us who remember how the world used to be and will again, they - dogs of all tyypes - have been around since the Garden of Eden, for those among us who do not remember, they have been around "a long time" : even the evolution Komsomol types admit that "dogs have spent generations and generations learning to show affection and appreciation to the humans with whom they have shared the earth lo these many years, and to decide that your life has no room for a dog is to leave all those years of appreciating value on the floor"

God loves us the way we are but loves us too much to let us stay that way

Colette could not have said it better

Dios mira a los anos pasados de nosotros y El mira con amistad todos los anos pasados y todos los anos donde nos vivimos en nuestras suenos hermossisimos .... el amistad de Dios non esta lo que se puede dormir el amistad de Dios esta lo que nuestras amigos y amigas ... (language change, like the railroad cars bustlingly shifting from one line to another, as we all, except the Engineer in the car furthest from the caboose, gently shift from one form of dozing dream to another ...) ... the love of God is what makes us be the friends to our friends that we were born to be.

Cor ad cor loquitur. (a friend to a creature who never had a friend in this world) I remember

Trust me

"Wine is even more easy to assess"

Blind tastings have shown that this is complete baloney. Even professionals produce near-random results in blinded tests. Wikipedia has a short summary of some of the research that has been done:

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