In 1815, brothers Alexander and Donald Johnston built a distillery at Laphroaig. This is before the 1824 official start date, as the Laird of Islay was much more forgiving than the landowners on the mainland (another way of saying he wanted more business on his island!). The story of Laphroaig really took off under the stewardship of Ian Hunter. It was he who built the Malt Mill, allowing the distillery to do its own malting. By the 1920s Laphroaig was being sold as a single malt and in 1924, the number of stills were increased to four, then five, and then by 1972 it had seven operating stills. After a few changes-of-hands, Suntory bought the distillery in 2014.