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New Laphroaig collection announced

Beam Suntory has announced an exclusive series of whiskies from Laphroaig Distillery, honouring the legacy of Ian Hunter, the last of the founding Johnston family to run the distillery.

Each annual release will be set into a book that will document a part of Ian’s legacy, making this likely to prove popular with collectors.

Ian Hunter: Book One

With 400 9L cases produced globally of this whisky, Book One: ‘Unique Character’ is described by Laphroaig as reflecting Ian Hunter’s character and representing traditional distillery character. It is a 30-years-old whisky and has been aged in first-fill Bourbon barrels and is non-chill filtered. 

Ian Hunter made the decision to introduce American white oak barrels into the maturation process of Laphroaig and thus the first chapter starts with these casks.

The legendary Ian Hunter

Ian Hunter joined the distillery in 1908 as the youngest member of the Johnston family. His relatives, the brothers Donald and Alexander Johnston had founded the distillery in 1815. His arrival had a lasting legacy on the distillery that is still used to this day as he is credited with doubling the production and successfully exporting Laphroaig whisky around the world.

One of his biggest successes was managing to sell Laphroaig to America during Prohibition. Ian managed to do this by leveraging the spirit’s character, which meant that it could be sold for medicinal purposes.

John Campbell, Laphroaig distillery manager, comments: “If you visit the Laphroaig Distillery today its clear to see the impact of Ian Hunter through the practices and innovations that are still followed. For good reason Ian is credited as the pioneer and innovator of this incredible whisky. Without Ian, the Laphroaig we know today would not exist, so we have much to thank him for. It is this legacy that we celebrate throughout the series.”

This limited edition whisky is available at The Whisky Exchange and The Whisky Shop from October 2019 for an RRP of £700. Book Two will be released in 2020.

30 September 2019 - Sam Coyne The Drinks Report, editor