Bessie move into this role after showing passion and unwavering commitment to whisky making and Laphroaig's heritage in her years working under Ian Hunter. She showed that she would be the best person to succeed him through years of dedication to the distillery and hard work as he shared all distillery knowledge he had acquired. When it came down to deciding who would run the distillery following his death in 1954, it was clear to Hunter that Bessie was the best person for the job, making her one of the first female owners and distillers in the industry.
Bessie was instrumental in promoting single malt whisky, in particular, Islay malts and Laphroaig, during the late 20th century as they started gaining popularity in the US. From 1961 to 1964 she represented Islay whisky to buyers and distributors in the United States as the official Scotch Whiskey Association America Spokesperson. We certainly wouldn’t experience Laphroaig the way we do today if it wasn’t for her.
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