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Ben Nevis Distillery

The Ben Nevis Distillery and Visitor Centre, with the mountain in the background
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

The Ben Nevis Distillery and Visitor Centre, with the mountain in the background

Located 2 miles (3 km) northeast of Fort William and 4 miles (6 km) northwest of the mountain itself, the Ben Nevis Distillery was established in 1825 by the lofty 'Long John' McDonald, taking its water from the mountain via the Allt a' Mhuilinn. A cask of Ben Nevis whisky was presented to Queen Victoria when she visited Fort William in 1848. In the 1950s, this was one of the first distilleries to produce malt and grain whisky alongside each other. The distillery was closed by owners Whitbread in 1986, but purchased by the Japanese whisky-producer Nikka in 1989 who re-opened it for malt whisky production. It now draws its water from the Lochaber Hydro Electric tunnel from Loch Treig which passes across the mountain-side above and collects most of the natural water along its route.

A visitor centre, featuring an audio-visual presentation, is located in a former warehouse dating from 1862.


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