Ben Nevis Distillery, Highlands

Ben Nevis Distillery, Highlands

Ben Nevis (also 'Bennevis' and 'Benevas') is located in Inverness-shire, at the foot of the highest mountain of the United Kingdom (1334 meters) by the same name. The peak does not have quite the significance of Fuji, but it is a powerful symbol of Scotland.

It was built in 1825 by 'Long John' McDonald. In 1955, the distillery came under the ownership of Joseph W. Hobbs, also proprietor of Bruichladdich, Glenesk, Glenkinchie, Glenury Royal and Lochside. Hobbs installed a Coffey Still and Ben Nevis became the first distillery to produce both malt and grain whisky.

In 1981 the Long Johns extended the capacity of the stills, withdrew the Coffey still and devoted to the production of malt whisky, but they were forced to close down 2 years later, in 1984. In 1989  it was purchased by the Japanese group The Nikka Whisky Distilling Company which re-opened it in 1991.

The Japanese influence is significant. Just like Suntory and Nikka, Ben Nevis offers a selection of single malts (most notably a 10yo and a 26yo) as well as a range of blends, including the Dew of Ben Nevis and 'Glencoe' 8yo vatted malt. As a result, a large proportion of the output is used in blends. The single malts provide good, old-fashioned, West Highland whisky.

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