The Laphroaig distillery (the name means “the beautiful hollow by the broad bay”) was established in 1815, by Alex and Donald Johnston. The ‘Johnston’ brothers were actually McCabes, of the Clan Donald, who changed their names following the failed Jacobite uprising, and settled on the Isle of Islay. Their descendants ran the distillery until 1887, when it passed to the Hunter family. They in turn ran the distillery until 1954, when Ian Hunter (who had no children) died and left the distilley to one of his managers, Bessie Williamson, who earlier came to Islay to stay for three months but remained on Islay for more than fourty years. The distillery was sold to Long John International in the 1960’s, and subsequently became part of Allied Domecq. Since 1994 Laphroaig has been the only whisky to carry the Royal Warrant of HRH, Prince Charles of Wales (the 15-year-old is reportedly his favourite scotch whisky), which was awarded in person during a visit to the distillery.
A great whisky. Laphroaig spirit of different ages (so no age statement on the bottle) matured the usual way, then finished in smaller casks to speed up the process but also change the style of maturation slightly. Burning embers of peat in a crofters fireplace, hints of coconut and banana aromas. Full bodied. Deep, complex and smoky yet offers and surprises the palate with a gentle sweetness. Really long, and dries appropriately with smoke and spice.