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Near Port Ellen,
Pronounced ‘La-Froyg’, and perched on the edge of the sea, Laphroaig is noted both for its smoky style and being one of the few distilleries still to operate its own floor malting and local Islay peat-fired kilns. Originally a farm distillery started by Alexander and Donald Johnston sometime between 1800 and 1812, Laphroaig’s official ‘established’ date is 1815, probably the date by which time Laphroaig's reputation was arousing the suspicions of the tax man.
In 1836 Donald bought his brother Alexander out of the business only to die in 1847 after falling into a vat. Lagavulin's Walter Graham then leased Laphroaig and ran both distilleries until Donald Johnston's son, Dugald Johnston, was old enough to take over Laphroaig. Sadly in later years relations between the two distilleries were not so cordial resulting in a number of court cases over agency brands and water rights.
Laphroaig stayed in the Johnston family until 1954 and since 2005 has been owned by Fortune Brands (Beam Global).