Tuesday, October 01, 2019


Laphroaig, has today announced the launch of a new 25 Year Old expression, in celebration of the first female distillery manager to own and run a Scotch whisky distillery in the 20th Century.

Laphroaig Bessie Williamson Story (43% ABV) has been matured in refill American oak hogsheads and refill barrels.

Laphroaig Bessie Williamson Story

Bessie Williamson, was born in Glasgow in 1910 to John Williamson, a gunner in France with the Royal Garrison Artillery and Agnes Whyte. She attended the University of Glasgow from 1927, intending to become a teacher, graduating in 1932.

After graduating with an MA in 1932, Bessie accepted a summer job at Laphroaig distillery intending to stay only a few months. She worked directly with then owner Ian Hunter, eventually taking on responsibility for US distribution following Hunter's stroke in 1938. By the time of the Second World War she had become the full-time distillery manager and the most senior woman in Scotch anywhere in the industry.

Bessie is credited with being among the first to anticipate the coming trend for single malt Scotch whisky and to position the Laphroaig whiskies and by extension other Islay malts, to the American market.  The Scotch Whisky Association named Williamson as its American spokesperson from 1961 to 1964 and she toured the US representing Islay whisky to buyers and distributors.

Commenting on the news, John Campbell, Laphroaig Distillery Manager, said: “Laphroaig is a globally recognised whisky thanks to Bessie.  It is well documented that Bessie was universally loved and respected by her colleagues at Laphroaig and the people of Islay. It is this aspect that we celebrate with this whisky, remembering her as a true icon of Laphroaig.”

Laphroaig Bessie Williamson Story, is now available exclusively in Global Travel Retail, for a RRP of £410.00.

Posted by Steve Rush