Distillery Opened Capacity Malting Floor Washback Type Number of Washbacks Number of Wash Stills Number of Spirit Stills
1825 2 million litres / Stainless Steel/ Oregon Pine 8 2 2
The Ben Nevis distillery was founded in 1825 by John McDonald.

The  Ben Nevis distillery is located in Western Highlands and for the production of its whisky the Ben Nevis distillery uses the water which comes from the Allt a'Mhuilinn.

Towards the end of the 1800s there were three working distilleries in Fort William.
Two of them,  Ben Nevis distillery and its sister Nevis, were of such a magnitude that their joint production far exceeded distilleries such as Macallan and Glenlivet.

The reason for this can e ascribed to the success of the blend Dew of  Ben Nevis distillery, which was introduced by the legendary distillery owner, “Long” John McDonald.

In the 1940s and 50s, the Ben Nevis distillery became a centre for experimentation with concrete wash backs and a Coffey still. The  Ben Nevis distillery was eventually sold to the giant brewing company, Whitbread.

When almost all the producers had closed some of their distilleries in the early 1900s, Whitbread went against the current and had invested for refurbishing the  Ben Nevis distillery.

 Ben Nevis distillery has created a visitor center in 1999 and the  Ben Nevis distillery offers several tours in order to the visitors could find the right one for them.

The  Ben Nevis distillery produces an oily, waxy, gently peaty and unusually fruited whisky.
  • 1825 The  Ben Nevis distillery was founded by “Long” John McDonald.
  • 1878 Demand is so great that another distillery, Nevis Distillery was built nearby.
  • 1908 Both distilleries merge into one.
  • 1941 D.P. McDonald & Sons sold the  Ben Nevis distillery to Ben Nevis Distillery Ltd headed by Joseph W. Hobbs.
  • 1955 Hobbs installs a Coffey still which made it possible to produce both grain and malt whisky.
  • 1978 Production stopped.
  • 1984  After restoration and reconstruction  Ben Nevis distillery opened up again.
  • 1986 The  Ben Nevis distillery closed again.
  • 1989 Whitbread sold the  Ben Nevis distillery to Nikka Whisky Distilly Company Ltd.
  • 1990 The  Ben Nevis distillery opened up again.
  • 1991 A visitor center was created.
  • 1996 Ben Nevis 10 years old was launched.
  • 2006 A 13 year old port finish was released.
  • 2010 A 25 year old was released.
  • 2011 McDonald’s Traditional Ben Nevis was released.
  • 2014 Forgotten Bottling were introduced.
  • 2015 A 40 Year old Blended at Birth single blend was released.

The  Ben Nevis distillery is equipped with one lauter mash tun, six  stainless steel washbacks and two made of Oregon pine and two pairs of stills.

The stills in  Ben Nevis distillery haven't a reflux bowl, in fact they have a cone-shape with wide necks.

The core range of  Ben Nevis distillery consist of:

  • 10 yo
  • MacDonald's Traditional Ben Nevis
  • 40 yo "Blended at Birth"
  • 12 yo single white port cask
  • 15 yo sherry cask
  • 21 yo
  • 25 yo first fill sherry cask

Image source: official Ben Nevis web-site