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.
This special Laphroaig is crafted from carefully selected casks from each of the distillery’s key styles – with one notable addition. The heart of this single malt is drawn from a final maturation in new American Oak casks, a rarity used for Scotch whisky maturation. With spirit selected by the master distiller from Quarter Cask, PX Cask and Triple Wood (European Oak casks) and a final addition of 10 Year Old, the whisky represents a subtle blending of peat, oak and sweetness. This is a full-bodied expression, featuring Laphroaig’s trademark ‘peat reek’ matched by an additional layer of complexity and depth brought about by the fusion of the maturation styles and different oaks.