Laphroaig have a history of fueds with local rival Lagavulin, resulting in numerous court cases. In 1908, Lagavulin's owner Sir Peter Mackie was so jealous of Laphroaig's flavour and success that he reportedly tried to bribe the distillery manager for information. As a result, he built a complete replica of Laphroaig's still room and attempted to recreate their spirit. His venture failed spectacularly and closed within two years
Isle of Islay
tel - +44(0)1496 302418
web - www.laphroaig.com
Tours - available all year Monday to Friday, twice daily. Tours are free but pre-booking is advisable. Book a day or so before your intended visit online via the website or telephone direct
How to pronouce Laphroaig? la-froyg
Laphroaig is one of the best known names in the whisky industry and they produce the best selling smoky whiskies in the world. The name means 'beautiful hollow by the broad bay' in Gaelic. The distillery is located on the south coast of the island of Islay, which lies off the west of Scotland. Laphroaig is famous for producing some of the smokiest whiskies in the world and they own numerous peat bogs around the distillery. They cut and dry the peat and then fire the kilns with it to stop the germination in the malted barley. The barley takes on the peaty phenols from the smoke and this is transferred to the spirit during distillation. The local water used in production is also dark and heavy with peat. The 'Friends of Laphroaig' is the biggest distillery led whisky society in the world with over 200,000 members. All you have to do to join is buy any bottle of Laphroaig and follow the instructions. You get the chance to purchase limited bottlings and reduced prices, as well as owning one square foot of peat bog next to the distillery which is marked with your own individual flag!
The distillery was built in 1810 by brothers Donald and Alexander Johnston and ran illegal stills until a license was granted in 1826. In a bid to avoid being caught by the authorities, the official date that production started was moved on numerous occasions. Finally, 1815 was settled on. The buildings were originally a farm and the distillery equipment was squeezed in to these. Laphroaig's whisky soon gained popularity on the island and the distillery was expanded during the 1820s. These original buildings are still in use today and the malting floor is one of the few still in use within the industry and one of the finest preserved examples. The current capacity is 2.4 million litres per year and demand remains high as Laphroaig is in the top five best selling malt whiskies in the world. Tragedy struck in 1847 when Donald died after tripping and falling into a vat of fermenting wash. The distillery remained within the family until 1972 when it was sold by Bessie Williamson. She was the last of three of the family's women to have managed Laphroaig. This list includes Catherine Johnston, who was the first woman to ever run a distillery in Scotland. The distillery was sold on again in 1990, this time to Allied Distillers who are now a subsiduary of current owners Beam Global. Prince Charles issued Laphroaig his Royal Warrant in 1994 after declaring it as his favourite whisky. As a result, they can display the Prince of Wales crest on their bottles and labels.