PORT ELLEN, Isle of Islay, June 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
His Royal Highness The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, today visited the world famous Laphroaig Distillery on Islay 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. The Duke led a toast to the anniversary by raising a dram of limited edition Laphroaig 15 Year Old Single Malt.
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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.
The Duke, who in Scotland uses his official Scottish title the Duke of Rothesay, 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.
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 GBP1 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 programmes 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.
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."
Notes to editors
About The Laphroaig(R) Legacy Fund
The Laphroaig Legacy Fund will commemorate the 200th anniversary of Laphroaig by providing financial support to local projects or businesses that are promoting the sustainability of Islay living. A corporate donation from Beam Suntory and proceeds from the sale of a cask signed by HRH The Prince of Wales, Duke of Rothesay, 200th anniversary products sold through the Laphroaig Visitor Centre and Online Shop and distillery tours will contribute towards the Legacy. Applications and selections will be made during the summer, and selected recipients will be notified in August 2015.
About Laphroaig(R) Scotch Whisky
Laphroaig (La-'froyg) literally means "the beautiful hollow by the broad bay." Born from the streams and blue peat smoke of Islay, Laphroaig is a Single Malt Scotch Whisky with a distinct taste and story in every bottle. The secret to Laphroaig is that it benefits from the happy circumstances of where it is produced-next to ocean water and on land that gives Laphroaig a unique peaty taste. It is one of only a few distilleries that still uses traditional malting floors and dries and infuses its own malt with the thick blue smoke from old peat-fired kilns. It's also the only single malt Scotch whisky to bear a Royal Warrant bestowed by HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay. Further demonstrating the whisky's superior quality, Laphroaig 10-Year-Old Cask Strength and Laphroaig Quarter Cask each received a Gold Medal at the 2014 International Review of Spirits while Laphroaig 10-Year-Old won a Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
About Beam Suntory Inc.
As the world's third largest premium spirits company, Beam Suntory is Crafting the Spirits Brands that Stir the World. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company's brands, including the iconic Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbon brands and Suntory whisky Kakubin, as well as world renowned premium brands including Knob Creek bourbon, Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki Japanese whiskies, Teacher's, Laphroaig, and Bowmore Scotch whiskies, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Sauza tequila, Pinnacle vodka, and Midori liqueur.
Beam Suntory was created in 2014 by combining the world leader in bourbon and the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company with a deep heritage, passion for quality, innovative spirit and commitment to Growing for Good. Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan. For more information on Beam Suntory, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit http://www.beamsuntory.com and http://www.drinksmart.com.