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Ben Nevis Distillery, Fort William

(2.3/5 based on 400+ reviews on the web)
Ben Nevis Distillery is a distillery in Scotland that distills Ben Nevis 10 year old and Ben Nevis 21 year old whisky. The distillery is located at Lochy Bridge in Fort William and sits just at the base of its namesake, Ben Nevis, Scotland's highest mountain, 4,406 feet above sea level. A coastal distillery in the Western Highlands, Ben Nevis draws its water from the Allt a’Mhuilinn which originates from two pools, Coire Leis and Coire na’Ciste. The distillery was founded in 1825 by 'Long John' McDonald, a 6ft 4in descendant of a ruler of the western Scottish kingdom of Argyll (for whom the renowned blended Scotch Long John was named). After Long John's death in 1856, ownership was passed down to Donald McDonald, his son.A second distillery was sited nearby in 1878 and named Nevis Distillery. In a bid to keep up with growing demand, both distilleries eventually became one in the early twentieth century. In 1955 the distillery was taken over by new proprietors with Joseph Hobbs in the driving seat. Under Hobb's ownership, the distillery joined the ranks of those experimenting with continuous distillation, installing a Coffey Still which remained on the site for twenty-six years and made this distillery one of the first to produce malt and grain whisky simultaneously. The Japanese company Nikka (Japan) acquired the distillery in 1989. The heart of the range has been, for some time, the ten year-old. There have also been a few cask-finishes, limited editions and independent bottlings, notably from Blackadder and Douglas Laing. In 1991, a visitor centre was opened for tourists in the area, particularly those travelling to the rocky peak above the distillery.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • On our tour of Scotland we have a number of distilleries visited. At Ben Nevis much in company can see and photos anywhere. We do not, however, particularly find the whisky.
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  • We always enjoy the freshly prepared sandwiches and coffee served in Denby cups with saucers! However, now there are more options with soup and sandwich combos and homemade cup cakes or tray bakes to ...  more »
  • It was a very informational tour that Ian gave us. We started off with a video. It was so nice to learn about how whiskeys are made and the different criteria they have to meet in order to be consider...  more »
Google
  • Did the guided tour last week with a tour group. The guides were knowledgeable and seemed quite content with their work. The smells of the Distillery were strange but expected with their ingredients. Capping off the tour with a sample of their whiskey was great. I'm not a whiskey drinker but it really was a nice sample with a smooth finish. Nice place with wonderful scenery. Don't forget to see the Hielan' Coos outside. :)
  • June 2016 - I didn't actually do the tour. I was about 10 mins late for the tour and wasn't able to hang out for the next one due to my bus to the airport. I stood at bar for a minute before engaging in a conversation with the guy behind the bar. Extremely friendly. Long story short, he pretty much let me taste everything they had (and some twice). I had about 3 other employees hanging around chatting as well and when I inquired about the bus back into town one of the guys offered me a ride as he was heading to McDonalds for a lunch run. Amazingly awesome people working here and some nice whisky too!
  • Brilliant tour guide, must be a new guy judging by some of the reviews? Very knowledgeable about every part of the process. We found the tour just long enough, funny and a great chance to try the whisky you've learnt about. We even purchased a bottle! Would definitely recommend.
  • They have production break in July which wasn't mentioned on the website. It means they will just show you empty production facilities and you have to imagine how it all works. They didn't have their bestsellers on stock but just some blends. My Finnish brother in law couldn't really understand one if the guides due to very thick accent
  • Me and my fiancee went on the executive tour. The tour guide was very knowledgeable, however the experience was incredibly overpriced and for that reason I couldn't recommend it. The Ben Nevis whiskys are very good and I would recommend any whisky lover try the range.