Scotland and Scotch whisky: Western Highlands  whisky through the producing distilleries: history, making, maps and tasting notes


Ben Nevis


Ben Nevis Distillery
Loch Bridge,
Fort William
Argyll PM33 6TJ
+44 1397 702 476

Owner: The Nikka Whisky Distilling Company Ltd.

Creation year: 1825

The Ben Nevis distillery has been founded in 1925 by (Long) John MacDonald. It is named after the highest mountain of United Kingdom (1334 meter). When Long John died in 1856, his son Donald MacDonald took over the business, and his was so successful that he had to build another distillery he called Glen Nevis. This last one was closed in 1908, and is used since this time as warehouse for Ben Nevis.
The production has increased tenfold by 1887.
In 1955, the distillery became the property of Joseph W Hobbs, also owner of BruichladdichGleneskGlenkinchieGlenury Royal and Lochside.
Hobbs installed a Coffey Still and Ben Nevis was the first distillery to produce malt and grain whisky.
The distillery was acquired by the Long John group, itself part of the Whitbread group in 1981. The distillery was extended, but closed 2 years later, in 1984. During this alteration works, the Coffey still has been suppressed.
The distillery closed again in 1986 until it was purchased by the japanese group The Nikka Whisky Distilling Company Ltd in 1989.
Ben Nevis reopened in 1990.
A large proportion of the production is used in blends, among others for Glencoe and Dew of Ben Nevis



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