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 (1,334 metres) by the same name.

The distillery 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 malt and grain whisky.

In 1981, the Long Johns extended the capacity of the stills, withdrew the Coffey still, and devoted themselves to malt whisky production. After a series of brief closures, in 1989, Ben Nevis was purchased by the Japanese group The Nikka Whisky Distilling Company, which re-opened it in 1990.

The Japanese influence is significant. Just like Suntory and Nikka, Ben Nevis offers a selection of single malts (most notably a 10 Year Old and a 26 Year Old) as well as a range of blends, including the Dew of Ben Nevis and 'Glencoe' 8-Year-Old Vatted Malt. As a result, a large proportion of the output is used in blends. The single malts provide excellent, classic Highland whisky, delighting their loyal fanbase. In 2014, Forgotten Bottlings were introduced, and some very old versions, such as the 1966, 1967, and 1968 versions, were released.

(Adapted from the Malt Whisky Yearbook 2024)

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