Laphroaig single malt whisky is one of the most divisive amongst drinkers, with its phenolic, antiseptic character appealing to some, and disgusting others.
With collectors there is less division surrounding Laphroaig, as rare and old bottles are towards the top of the wish list for most looking to invest in the water of life.
Founded in 1815 by brothers Alexander and Donald Johnston, the distillery remained in the hands of D Johnston & Co until the 1960s, where it was acquired by Long John International. It is now under the ownership of Japanese company Beam Suntory, along with Bowmore, Auchentoshan, Glen Grarioch and Ardmore.
In 1994, Laphroaig received the Royal Warrant on Prince Charles’ visit to the distillery, which can subsequently be found adorning every label of Laphroaig. This makes ‘Pre-Royal Warrant’ bottles highly desirable.
Lot 13 is not only a pre-Royal Warrant miniature, it dates back to the 1960s, a period regarded as when some of the finest Laphroaig spirits were distilled. Few of these miniatures remain in such good condition, resulting in a pre-auction estimate for this example of £300-£400.