- Pronunciation: La-froyg
- Founded: 1815
- Region: Islay
- Closed: N/A
- Status: Operational
- Owner: Beam Suntory
- Production Capacity: 2,700,000
Donald and Alexander Johnston founded the Laphroaig distillery in 1815 using surplus barley from cattle farming. Eventually whisky distilling earned them far more money than farming and the whole estate became used solely for the creation of Laphroaig whisky.
By 1887 Laphroaig was known locally as an excellent, full bodied single malt. As a result, they decided to end their contract with Mackie and Co for its use in their whisky blends. This caused a dispute between the two parties which Mackie and Co later lost.
Laphroaig’s distinctive smoky, peat flavour was taken internationally and found itself particularly popular in Sweden and Denmark. The owner of the distillery at the time even managed to persuade US customs, during the prohibition era, to allow imports of the drink into America due to medicinal qualities.
In the 1940s and 1950s, Laphroaig started to be produced in American Oak Bourbon casks. Due to the war, it was easier for the distillery to repurpose old casks rather than import new ones. This helped refine Laphroaig’s unique flavour.
From 1954-1990, Bessie Williamson was one of the first female whisky distillery owners in the world. She forged greater links between the distillery and the Islay community.
In 1994, Laphroaig became the only whisky to receive a Royal Warrant from Prince Charles. This is why the Prince of Wales coat of arms can be found on each bottle produced since.
Laphroaig was the first whisky distillery to be awarded the International Spirit Challenge Trophy. This was the distillery’s seventh award - the most of any distillery in Scotland.
In 2015, Laphroaig celebrated its 200th anniversary.
Laphroaig’s core product is its 10 Year Old . Described as the richest flavoured whisky on the market, it has a strong smoky flavour. There are also notes of seaweed and a sweet finish to the Scotch. There’s also the 10 Year Old Cask Strength batch, which is stronger (at 58% abv) due to less filtration processes being used.
The 25 Year Old is a blend of whiskies matured in two different types of cask - sherry casks and bourbon casks. This gives a smooth whisky with woody and sweet notes.
Lore combines five different Laphroaig whiskies - from 7 to 21 years old and from different types of barrels - to create what the distillery believes is the richest flavour possible from their whiskies.
The Quarter Cask is aged in a smaller barrel to enhance the peaty flavour and give a denser, more velvety, Scotch whisky. The quarter casks are also used for Triple Wood - which is aged three times in ex-bourbon casks, quarter casks and sherry barrels. The extra stages of maturation not only enhance the smokiness and peatiness of the whisky, like Quarter Cask maturation, but also add additional richness created by nutty and spicy flavours and a touch of sweetness.
We also have a range of rarer Laphroaig products that are no longer in production including the 15 Year Old - Prince Charles’ personal favourite - and the 18 Year Old .
The highest value whisky from Laphroaig distillery on Whisky Auctioneer is the Laphroaig 1974 Sherry Cask 31 Year Old . Only 910 bottles of this whisky were ever distilled, and it was awarded 95 points from Serge Valentin on Whisky Fun. The distinctive smokey and seaweed flavours of Laphroaig are strengthened by the age of the whisky, and a huge sherry sweetness completes the intense flavour and mouthfeel of the Scotch.