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Article: Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis

Old-style whiskies have always been Ben Nevis's pride and joy since its launching.


Ben Nevis is one of the last distilleries in Scotland to maintain a traditional fermentation using brewer's yeast.

History of Ben Nevis whisky distillery

Ben Nevis distillery is in Lochy Bridge in Fort William just at the base of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles, which rises to 1,345 m 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 6 ft 4in descendant of a ruler of the western Scottish kingdom of Argyll (after whom the blended Scotch, Long John, was named). After Long John's death in 1856, ownership passed to his son, Donald McDonald.

A second distillery was sited nearby in 1878 and named Nevis Distillery. In a bid to keep up with growing demand, the two distilleries eventually became one in the early twentieth century. In 1955 the distillery was taken over by new proprietors led by Joseph Hobbs. Under Hobbs, the distillery began using continuous distillation, installing a Coffey Still which remained on the site for 26 years and made the distillery one of the first to produce both malt and grain whisky simultaneously.  Nikka acquired the distillery in 1989 and continue to own it today.

Tours: yes, public tours are available. 

Highland Region

Highland is the greatest of all whisky regions and provides a huge variety of different flavours and characters. It goes from the lighter whiskies all the way through salty coastal malts.

While malts from the West Highland distilleries tend to have a sweet start and dryish finish, the far North Highland malts character are greatly influenced by the local soil and the coastal location of the distilleries giving light bodied whiskies with a spicy character and a dryish finish, sometimes with a trace of saltiness. Central, Southern and Eastern Highland malt whiskies are generally quite a mixed bunch. Fruity and sweet. They are lighter bodied with a tendency to have a dry finish.

Whisky from Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis do have some own brand age statements, including their 10 year old which is part of their core range. They have also released other age statements and cask strength variations. Ben Nevis casks make for great independent bottlings, and a number can be found.

Ben Nevi's character tends to be strong and bold, with spicy notes and peat smoke, together with some fruit, honey and heather.

Buy a cask of Ben Nevis whisky

The Single Cask has some great Ben Nevis casks in our warehouses.  If you're interested in buying a cask of Ben Nevis, please contact us today for a free, no obligation quote.  We can also offer a range of bottling services, making the whole process of creating your very own whisky easy.

Sell a cask of Ben Nevis whisky

The Single Cask has a great history of buying and bottling single cask Ben Nevis whisky.  Often we buy our casks direct from the distillery, but we are also pleased to buy Ben Nevis casks from private individuals.  If you have a Ben Nevis cask that you're looking to sell, please contact us today for a free, no obligation, quote on how much we could pay you for your cask.


Whisky Type

Blended Scotch, Single grain, Single malt

Distillery Status






Fermentation Time

48hrs, longer at weekends

Grist weight (T)


Malt specification

Normally Speyside Type, low/occasionally 30-35ppm

Mash Tun Material

Stainless Steel

New-Make Strength


Spirit Still Charge (L)


Spirit Still Size (L)



5 dunnage plus 1 racked

Wash Still Shape

Plain, with a large, deep, straight sided bottom

Washback Size (L)




Yeast type


Condenser type

Shell and tube

Filling strength


Heat source


Malt supplier

Various, usually all major U.K. malt supplier companies

Mash Tun Type

Lauter (Newmill)

Single Malt percentage


Spirit still shape

Plain, deep base


4 (2 Wash, 2 Spirit)

Wash still charge (L)


Wash Still size (L)


Washback type

6 Steel, 2 Pine

Water source

Allt a Mhullin burn

Parent company

Asahi Group Holdings

Current owner

Ben Nevis Distillery (Fort William)


+44 1397 700200



Ben Nevis Distillery

Lochy Bridge
Fort William, Inverness-shire
PH33 6TJ
United Kingdom


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