Laphroaig collector
about me news to the collection contact links

The Legend of Laphroaig

Marcel van Gils is a specialist in Laphroaig and possesses the largest Laphroaig bottle collection in the world.
Hans Offringa is an internationally acclaimed author and whisky expert. He has written and translated many books and articles on his favourite subject.
They joined forces to write an in-depth history about Laphroaig distillery.

With the permission and full cooperation of Laphroaig and its owner Beam Global the authors researched extensive archives on Islay and at Glasgow University. On their quest they received help from descendants of the Johnston family. The result is awesome: a thorough, well-documented history of that famous Islay distillery at Laphroaig Bay, written in a clear and accessible style. If you like history with a dram, this is your book.

The first chapter is an introduction to the history of distilling and segues into the next chapter: the history of the Isle of Islay. Chapter three describes the entire history of the distillery, illustrated lavishly with old documents and photographs, many of them never published before. The fourth chapter tells how Laphroaig is made today, as seen through the eyes of the people who work at the distillery. This chapter is illustrated by brand new pictures, taken by the authors, when visiting Laphroaig in April 2007. The final chapter contains an overview of Marcel van Gils' private collection of bottles.
The foreword is written by Charles MacLean who said about The Legend of Laphroaig: “Told succinctly and elegantly, beautifully illustrated ... It is a benchmark account of a distillery and its product. I commend this delightful book to you unreservedly!”

Former manager Iain Henderson who received the first copy from Charlie MacLean: "I am deeply impressed by this book."


Click on the book for a preview! (PDF-file, 1.1Mb)

Size: 21 x 27 cm.
Hardcover with dust jacket.
Full colour.
216 pages, with hundreds of photos and illustrations, found in the archives at Glasgow University, Laphroaig Distillery and the Scottish Brewing Archive (SBA). Illustrations by Dutch artist Hans Dillesse.

Retail price: € 39,95 (approx. £ 30 or $ 50).
Language: English.
ISBN 9789089100276

November 9, 2007 at Whisky Live Leiden (The Netherlands).
The launch was staged by
A Brand New Day, importer of Laphroaig in The Netherlands.

How to order:
International orders:
The Netherlands:

A quote from the authors:
"Without the committed help from the people at Laphroaig Distillery, the University of Glasgow Archives, the SBA and descendants of the Johnston family it would not have been possible to write this book.
We discovered until now unknown documents and photos, which threw another light on the earliest history of the Laphroaig founders. For a long time it had been unclear what had happened to one of the original founders Alexander Johnston. Thanks to a letter dated in 1837 we found out he had emigrated and from there we could follow the track."


HRH Prince Charles and his wife the Duchess of Rothesay visited Laphroaig on the 4th of June 2008. On the occasion a copy signed by Marcel and Hans of "The Legend of Laphroaig" was presented to the Prince by Alan Hyslop.