His Royal Highness The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, today visited the world famous Laphroaig Distillery on the Isle of Islay (pronounced “Eye-La“) in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the brand. Laphroaig, owned by Beam Suntory, is the only Single Malt Scotch Whisky to bear a Royal Warrant, a mark of recognition to those who supply goods or services to the Royal Households. Laphroaig (La-‘froyg) literally means “the beautiful hollow by the broad bay.”
The Duke led a toast to the anniversary by raising a dram of limited edition Laphroaig 15 Year Old Single Malt. The visit is the third that the Duke has paid to Laphroaig over the last 25 years. The Royal Warrant was issued during the year of his first visit in 1994, and he returned as part of his 60th birthday celebrations in 2008.
Stay Informed: Sign up here for our Distillery Trail free email newsletter and be the first to get all the latest news, trends, job listings and events in your inbox.
The Duke was hosted by John Campbell, Distillery Manager of Laphroaig, Patrick Loudon McIain Stewart, Lord-Lieutenant of Argyll and Bute, Lady Lithgow, Depute Lord-Lieutenant of Argyll and Bute and Mick Ord, Director of Scotch and Irish Whiskies at Beam Suntory. During the visit, he met a number of Laphroaig employees, filled, bunged and signed an ex-bourbon cask and was given a tour of the distillery. He also unveiled a plaque in the Friends of Laphroaig’s field to officially open a cairn (a traditional Scottish monument made of rough stones) commemorating the 200th anniversary. At the end of the tour, the Duke was presented with gifts for both himself and his wife the Duchess of Rothesay, including branded ‘Friends of Laphroaig’ wellington boots and bottles of Laphroaig 15 Year Old.
John Campbell, Distillery Manager of Laphroaig, says, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome the Duke back to Laphroaig to commemorate what is a momentous year for our distillery and brand. We are extremely grateful for his ongoing support over the years, which has helped enable us to preserve the unique heritage of the Scottish whisky industry and to give back to our community. Our 200th anniversary is an opportunity for us to continue to support the region through The Laphroaig Legacy Fund, celebrate our position as an integral part of the local economy, and help ensure that the community of Islay can prosper into the future.”
The Duke’s visit also marks the launch of The Laphroaig Legacy Fund, a charitable initiative aimed at supporting Islay’s people, community and environment in 2015. The Legacy Fund has been created to both celebrate the distillery’s past and help to secure the future of its community by supporting local projects and businesses that are promoting the sustainability of Islay living. This year, bottles and casks of 40 Year Old whisky signed during the Duke’s last visit will be auctioned to raise money for the fund. A corporate donation from Beam Suntory and £1 donation from every bottle of Laphroaig 21 Year Old and Cairdeas sold through the Laphroaig Visitor Centre and Online Shop in 2015 will also be put towards the fund. Following an application and selection process, a series of targeted grants will be issued to the successful beneficiaries; these could include community projects, environmental sustainability programs or initiatives that enhance the skills sets of islanders.
Laphroaig, which was this year crowned Best Visitor Attraction in Scotland 2014/2015 by the Scottish Thistle Awards, is also celebrating its 200th anniversary with limited edition commemorative releases of Laphroaig 15 Year Old, Laphroaig 32 Year Old, and Laphroaig 21 Year Old.