Ben Nevis distillery is a whisky distillery in Fort William, Scotland. It is situated at the base of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles.‘Long John’ Macdonald, the founder of the distillery, was big man and proud and perhaps on account of his size and strength was chosen by the Lochaber lairds to establish a legal distillery near Fort William in 1825, when he was 27 years old. The original distillery produced only 200 gallons a week, but the make’s reputation stretched even to Buckingham Palace, which accepted a cask in 1848, to be broached on the Prince of Wales’ 21st birthday in 1863. After the death of ‘the old Gael’ the business passed to his son, Donal Peter Macdonald.
The distillery fell silent in 1978, but production started again, along with much needed refurbishment, in 1981 when it was bought, appropriately enough, by Long John International – by then the whisky division of the brewer Whitbread. In 1989, Long John sold it to the Japanese distiller Nikka which had been buying malt and grain from the distillery for a number of years.