Laphroaig

Alexander and Donald Johnston build Laphroaig in 1815 but the accepted start date for the distillery in 1824 when they obtained a license. Maintained under family ownership until the 1960s but before then, two important figures emerged to run Laphroaig. In 1927, grandson Ian Hunter assumes control and the distillery thrives under his supervision. When he dies in 1954, the distilery passes to his secretary, Bessie Williamson, to run. Given that Williamson had been the de facto manager during Hunter's long, sales-trip absences this was a natural step but it should be noted that she is noted for being the first woman to run a distillery in the 20th century and was instrumental promoting single malt whiskies - especially Islay whiskies. Fun Fact: Laphroaig has retained its own floor maltings which still account for 20% of its requirements. It is believed that the Laphroaig kiln produces a more creosote-like phenolic character than the malt received from the Port Ellen maltings.
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