By 1857 Dugald Johnston was old enough to take over the running of the distiller himself.
Luckily, Dugald was helped by his cousin Alexander Johnston. Together they ran the distillery until Dugald died on 6th January 1877.
The fame of Laphroaig continued to grow and new buildings were erected.
However, even in those days, Laphroaig’s liquid smoky, peaty taste was highly appreciated by whisky blenders (it remains today the foremost whisky for blending) – and coveted none more so than by those next door neighbours at Lagavullin, who were owned by Mackie and Co (Glasgow spirit and blending merchants).
They were taking half of Laphroaig’s output for blending with grain whisky – this had always troubled Dugald as it restricted Laphroaig’s ability to sell his own pure malt whisky to a wider market.
The problem was now coming to a head.