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Ben Nevis

No: 78
Producer: Ben Nevis Co.
Region: Highland
District: Western Highlands  -   Multimap view
OS Sheet 41 ; Map reference NN 125 755 ; Latitude 56 51° N, Longitude 5 1° W
Founded 1825 ; Operating Status (1999): operating

Scotland's highest mountain, Ben Nevis (1344m/4490ft) gave its name to a distillery in the nearest town, Fort William. The distillery was established in 1825 by "Long John" McDonald, a 6ft 4in descendant of a ruler of the western Scottish kingdom of Argyll. In 1989 the distillery was sold by Whitbread to Mitsui, partner of the Japanese whisky-makers Nikka. The new owners restored production of malt but not grain whisky in 1990 under the name Ben Nevis Distillery Co Ltd
© Michael Jackson 1994

Distillery rating: 1*

Lochy Bridge, Fort William, PH33 6TJ
Tel: 01397-700200

I visited this in August '94 as I happened to be passing. It's a small and utilitarian distillery which doesn't help but It is always good to see distilleries making an effort so on the positive side there was a small exhibition, the tour was free, the people friendly enough and there was a tasting (the blend only). The video they had put together was not that inspiring and some of the 'factual' myths they were putting forward about the origins of distilling were from the Tartan Loch Ness Monster school of presentation and plain wrong, even if given tongue-in-cheek. They have a home page (below). At present it is fairly light-weight but I moaned to them about the general presentation and they responded with their new brochure which is MUCH better and I look forward to seeing some or all of it on the net.

I have a note of a grain distillery of the same name but I do not believe it is still operating.


SMWS bottling 78.6 Ben Nevis 14 years old
A real dark, big, warm, winter whisky, and 97.6. A classic, heavily-sherried offering and well worth savouring. Quite a contrast from other casks of 78 I have tried before, and very much to my taste. [rb]

Visit the distillery's Web site
Search Dr. Do'g's index for the history of Ben Nevis
There just might be some news about Ben Nevis in The "Scotsman" newspaper