Laphroaig (La-froyg) single malt Scotch whisky has always kept itself a bit remote, like the islanders of Islay themselves. A touch aloof at first, but make the effort, broach acquaintance, and you'll have a warm and genuine friend for life. Take it neat like a stalwart, or with a splash of soft water. Roll it around on your tongue. Release the pungent, earthy aroma of blue peat smoke, the sweet nuttiness of the barley, the delicate, heathery perfume of Islay's streams. Close your eyes, and imagine the waves lapping Laphroaig, ''the beautiful hollow by the broad bay''.