On the far edge of the Scotch whisky map, it’s supposed that the art of distillation was first brought to Islay by Irish monks. Being remote, it’s an art that flourished in the hands of the islanders, whose illegal operations tested the resolve and means of the tax man. Eventually, the law relaxed, various whisky makers set up legitimate distilleries, among them a pair of farmers, Donald and Alexander Johnston, who in 1815 founded their distillery on the island’s south coast. Laphroaig, so called after its location, ‘broad hollow by the bay.’ It would remain in family hands for the next 139 years. Find out more about the history of Laphroaig below, using the scroller on the timeline to travel back in time.
Our whisky making tradition has been passed down by distillery managers since the first drop rolled off the still in 1815. Ian Hunter, Bessie Williamson, John MacDougal, Denise Nicole, Iain Henderson and the incumbent John Campbell were all protective custodians of the art of Laphroaig.
Each brought their own influence, of course, but all respected the unique elements that make Laphroaig the whisky it is. The Kilbride Stream, hand-cut peat, floor malted barley, cold-smoking kilns, mash tuns, copper alchemy and the subtlety of oak aging. Each and every stage crucial in producing the most richly flavored of all Scotch whiskies. Scroll down to read more.