Laphroaig (whiskey distillery)

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Laphroaig whiskey distillery islay scotland 06/16/2007.JPG

Laphroaig distillery building

country ScotlandScotland Scotland
region Islay
Geographical location 55 ° 37 '49 "  N , 6 ° 9' 7.9"  W Coordinates: 55 ° 37 '49 "  N , 6 ° 9' 7.9"  W.
Type Paint
status active
owner Beam Suntory
Founded 1815
founder Donald & Alex Johnston
Water source Kilbride Dam
Washstill (s) 3 × 10,910 l
Spiritstill (s) 3 × 3,630 l, 1 × 7,270 l
Production volume 2,700,000 l

Laphroaig (pronounced: la-froig [ læˈfrɔɪg ], probably from Gaelic lag [sink] - Old Norse breiðr vik [wide bay]) is a whiskey distillery on the Scottish Hebridean island of Islay . The distillery's buildings are classified as C on the Scottish Monuments List . Laphroaig is owned by the Japanese-American Beam Suntory group.



Laphroaig is located on a small, natural bay. The distillery was officially founded in 1815 by brothers Donald and Alex Johnston. Originally it was a farm distillery for personal use. Even the father John the founder set up one of the two illegal distilleries that later became Lagavulin . There was also another distillery on the grounds used by the distillery from 1837 to 1868: The old Ardenistiel Distillery by Andrew and James Gairdner, which was also known as Kildalton Distillery (1849-1852) and Islay Distillery (1852-1866). The water for the production came from the Sanaig Burn, which at that time also served Laphroaig as a water source. The distillery remained in the family until 1954. The last of the Johnston Clan, Ian Hunter, left the company to his secretary Bessie Williamson. This was sold to Long John Distillers in 1967 and continued to run the distillery until it retired in 1972.

Two stills were purchased in 1923 and two more in 1969. In 1974 the last still was added, bringing the number to a total of seven. When Long John Distillers was absorbed by Whitbread in 1975 , which in turn belonged to Allied Domecq , the owner also changed for Laphroaig. Allied Domecq was taken over by Pernod Ricard in 2005 . In order to meet the requirements of the Cartel Office, Pernod Ricard separated from Laphroaig. This made Beam Global Spirits & Wine , a subsidiary of Fortune Brands , the new owner. At the end of April 2014, the Japanese beverage company Suntory completed the takeover of Beam Global. Since then, Laphroaig has been part of the Suntory portfolio .

Laphroaig has been purveyor to the Prince of Wales for single malt whiskey since 1994 .


The southernmost of the Islay distilleries has warehouses that are located directly on the sea and are washed by the water when the waves are high. The regional conditions are said to be responsible for the unmistakable taste of the malt: salt water, salty sea air, peaty water from the Kilbride Dam and the peat . This comes from the distillery's own fields on Islay ( Glenmachrie Peat Moss ) and has a high proportion of moss . However, not everything comes malt from our own production, about 75% is with a phenol content of about 40 ppm of Port Ellen - Malthouse purchased.

The system in which this whiskey is made, there is (as of 2000) from a mash tun ( mash do ) (8.5 tons), six steel fermenters ( wash backs ) (per 42,000 liters), three stills wash (each of 10,910 liters ) and four spirit stills (3 × 3630 l, 1 x 7270 l) with steam heating. The annual production is two million liters.


Laphroaig warehouse
Vintage whiskey 2001 not cold-filtered in a bottling from Signatory
Laphroaig 15, old, angular packaging

The distillery has a wide variety of bottlings; a list of over 200 such can be found on the Internet in the Laphroaig archive. As a rule, Laphroaig whiskeys are colored darker with sugar couleur . Its own bitter taste hardly affects the quality of the whiskey.

Laphroaig 10 years 40 vol .-% vol and 43 vol .-%
  • Color: Lighter golden yellow.
  • Scent: wood. Some pear. Traces of mild chocolate. In any case, with the note that many call “medicinal” or “phenolic”.
  • Taste: Like a “rough sea” with extreme peat, therefore peaty, salty, oily, tarry; sometimes referred to as "medical". With a drop of water even smokier and more peaty.
  • Finish: Very long, dry with integration of the previous notes.
  • Summary: an idiosyncratic, characterful malt. Profound and down to earth.
Laphroaig 15 years old 43 vol%
The 15-year-old Laphroaig, Prince Charles' favorite whiskey, is much more restrained and sedate in terms of smell and taste than the 10-year-old. The somewhat medicinal taste typical of Laphroaig (like iodine ) takes a back seat. Peaty and smoky notes dominate, which are now comparable to a Lagavulin or the 12-year-old Bowmore . In 2008, the 15-year-old Laphroaig was replaced by an 18-year-old bottling and is now hardly available.
Laphroaig 18 years old 48% vol
The 18-year-old Laphroaig replaced the hugely popular 15-year-old in 2008. Like the quarter cask, it is bottled at 48% alcohol and not filtered cold. It is even milder and sweeter than the 15-year-old and was rated better than its predecessor by whiskey authors such as Michael Jackson in the Malt Whiskey Companion or by Jim Murray in his Whiskey Bible .
Laphroaig Signatory Vintage 46 vol%
Characteristics such as fragrance, taste and color vary with the duration of storage and the barrels used - the whiskey in the bottle shown here was distilled on September 13, 2001 and bottled on December 15, 2009, the product from barrels 2922 and 2923 was closed processed in a blend. The bottle bears the # 17 (handwritten) of 839. The whiskeys that are not cold-filtered can become cloudy when stored cold and offer significantly stronger smoke and peat aromas. The first scent note is reminiscent of pears or ripe apples, the taste is very long-lasting (even by Laphroaig standards) and less woody.
Laphroaig Quarter Cask 48% vol
The quarter cask is the liveliest variant of the Laphroaigs. It is the sharpest and most peaty with the lowest complexity of the three common variants. In the taste with a lot of peat, salt, sweetness and wood, more intense typical Laphroaig taste. The aging takes place "double matured" first in oak barrels, then in small barrels called "quarter cask". The expansion in the quarter casks requires less maturing time due to the greater contact with the barrel wall. In this way, the distillery can meet a short-term increase in demand.
Laphroaig Triple Wood 48 vol%
The Triple Wood is an extension of the Quarter Cask. A further maturation takes place in European oak barrels (sherry) and gives it additional sweetness and fruit aromas. The intense vanilla contrasts with the peaty, smoky note, which makes the Triple Wood more complex.


For their 200th anniversary in 2015, the distillery Laphroaig gave away as a thank you to deserving customers, friends and personalities quadratfußgroße pieces of land ( Engl. Plots) on the island of Islay .

See also


  • Andrew Jefford: Peat Smoke and Spirit, A Portrait of Islay and its Whiskeys. Headline, London 2004, ISBN 978-0-7472-4578-0 , pages 317-340.
  • Marcel van Gils, Hans Offringa: The legend of Laphroaig. Still Publishing, Odijk 2007, ISBN 978-90-8910-027-6 .
  • Charles MacLean (Ed.): Whiskey. World Guide, Regions, Distillers, Malts, Blends, Tasting Notes. Dorling Kindersley, New York NY 2008, ISBN 978-0-7566-3349-3 .
  • Walter Schobert: The whiskey dictionary (= Fischer. 15868). Revised new edition. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2003, ISBN 3-596-15868-0 .

Web links

Commons : Laphroaig  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  2. Listed Building - Entry . In: Historic Scotland .
  3. Japanese take over Laphroaig and Ardmore. Whic Whiskey Blog, accessed January 16, 2014 .
  4. Suntory Holdings Completes Acquisition of Beam Inc. In: May 1, 2014, accessed July 5, 2014 .
  5. Michael Jackson: Malt Whiskey Companion. 6th edition. All Dorling Kindersley, London 2010, ISBN 978-1-4053-1966-9 , p. 298.
  6. Jim Murray: Jim Murray's Whiskey Bible 2011. 8th revised edition. Dram Good Books, Wellingborough 2011, ISBN 978-0-9554729-5-4 , p. 161.
  7. ^ Laphroaig - Friends, Plots
  8. ^ The Whiskey Wash, Laphroaig - Plots