Scotland and Scotch whisky: Islay  whisky through the producing distilleries: history, making, maps and tasting notes



Laphroaig Distillery
Port Ellen, Islay
Argyll PA42 7DU
+44 1496 302 418

Owner: Fortune Brands

Creation year: 1815

The Laphroaig distillery was founded by Donald Johnston, whose father created Lagavulin a few years earlier. When Donald died, his son Dugald inherited the distillery, but as he was aged 11, Walter Graham from the neighbour distillery Lagavulin managed it in the meanwhile.
The relations with Lagavulin were not always that good. After some legal procedures against Lagavulin, the distillery asked Ian Hunter to help bringing the distillery back in an even keel. Hunter increased the production capacity and created a blend, called Islay Mist which become worldwide successfully in no time.
The distillery stayed in the family Johnston for nearly half a century.
En 1954, Mrs Bessie Williamson, a well known figure in the world of whisky, inherited the distillery. She managed it until 1972. The number of stills increased from 4 to 6 and to 7 five years later.
The distillery belonged successfully to Long John Distillers, Whitbread & Co and finally to Allied Lyons, called nowadays Allied Distillers Ltd.
About 10% of the production is marketed as single malt, the remaining part being sold to blenders to produce amongst others Long John, Black Bottle and Islay Mist.
After the French group Pernod Ricard took control of Allied Domecq in 2005, the Laphroaig distillery was ceased to the American Fortune Brand, (2006: Beam Global Spirits & Wine ) owner of amongst others Jim Beam, Booker's or Knob Creek. 



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