Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc., today played host to The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, known as The Duke of Rothesay and The Duchess of Rothesay, while travelling in Scotland - at its Laphroaig, Islay, distillery.
Laphroaig Islay Single Malt Scotch whisky is the world's No. 1 selling Islay whisky. It is produced at the D. Johnston & Co. Ltd (Laphroaig) distillery, which proudly holds the Royal Warrant as Distiller and Supplier of Single Malt Scotch Whisky to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.
Limited only by the availability of mature stock, Laphroaig's reputation and its popularity around the world have grown year-on-year for the past several years. During the tour, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall learned:
- Laphroaig is running at full capacity 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- In 2007, Laphroaig achieved record production levels of 2.5 million litres of alcohol, up 6.5% from the previous record set in 1990.
- As a result of its success, the distillery has hired more than five new employees in recent months, including a manager for the recently renovated visitor centre and Friends of Laphroaig Lounge.
- Laphroaig earned re-accreditation under the ownership of Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc., to the Environmental Standard ISO 14001:2004, as well as to the Quality Standard ISO 9001and the Health& Safety Standards OHSAS 1800.
- Laphroaig is committed to continuing reduction in energy usage and to hand-cutting peat, which minimises impact on the peat bog, as well as providing island employment.
Also on the tour, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall met with distillery employees, learned about the unique process for making Laphroaig Single Malt Scotch whisky, and nosed the whisky at different ages.
With the broader community in mind, Laphroaig provided The Prince of Wales with an opportunity to help raise funds for charity by signing two barrels of maturing spirit. The signed barrels will be auctioned off in years to come with proceeds from the sale of the whisky to go towards a charity selected by the Prince of Wales.
The Prince of Wales also signed a rare 40-year-old bottle of Laphroaig, one of only a handful left in the world. Valued at around U.S. $5,000 without a royal signature, the Laphroaig 40 year old will be auctioned off this year. Proceeds from the sale will go to a charity selected by The Prince of Wales.
Other highlights from the royal visit included:
- Children of distillery employees raised the Prince of Wales standard to signal the arrival of The Duke and The Duchess of Rothesay.
- The Islay Pipe Band welcomed the royal couple onto the grounds of the Laphroaig distillery.
- Employees of Laphroaig presented a signed, honorary Friends of Laphroaig certificate to the royal guests, officially designating Plot One as the royal plot Employees of Laphroaig presented a handcrafted pottery spirit still modelled on the small pot stills indigenous to Laphroaig, made by Islay potter Arra Fletcher, a recipient of The Prince's Trust Charities.
- A bottle each of Cairdeas, the most recent limited edition to join the Laphroaig family and produced for the 2008 Islay festival as a special bottling. Cairdeas means Friendship in Gaelic.
Loyal "Friends" of Laphroaig and scotch enthusiasts around the globe will be able to view images of the visit on www.laphroaig.com.