Laphroaig distillery is an Islay single malt Scotch whisky distillery. It is named after the area of land at the head of Loch Laphroaig on the south coast of the island of Islay. The name may be related to a place name on the east coast of Islay, "Pròaig", again suggested as meaning "broad bay". The distillery and brand are owned and operated by Beam Suntory.
The Laphroaig distillery was established in 1815 by Donald and Alexander Johnston. The last member of the Johnston family to run the distillery was Ian Hunter, a nephew of Sandy Johnston, who died childless in 1954 and left the distillery to one of his managers, Bessie Williamson. Laphroaig has been the only whisky to carry the Royal Warrant of the Prince of Wales, which was awarded in person during a visit to the distillery in 1994.
Laphroaig calls itself "the most richly flavoured of all Scotch whiskies". The whisky has a peaty/smoky flavour. The Laphroaig Quarter Cask was introduced in 2004. This expression is aged in smaller casks and is not chillfiltered. Due to the smaller barrels used, the oak surface contact is 30% greater than with standard barrels. The company describes the effect of this as "creating a soft and velvety edge". The Quarter Cask is bottled at 48% ABV (96 proof). The standard bearer 10-year-old bottling is bottled at 40% or 43% ABV, depending on the local market.
In 1994 the Friends of Laphroaig Club was established, members of which are granted a lifetime lease of up to 1 square foot per person of Laphroaig land on the island of Islay. The annual royalty from owning a plot is a dram of Laphroaig which can be obtained upon visiting the distillery.