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BEN NEVIS         26 years old 55,4%          
Distilled 1972
Cask No. 602
Bottled 1998
205 bottles
Ben Nevis Distillery
(Fort William) Limited

BEN NEVIS         8 years old 43 %         
VINTAGE 1990
Distilled 14.12.90
Bottled 2.3.99
Matured in a sherry butt
Butt No. 1376
775 bottles
Signatory Vintage
Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, Edinburgh

BEN NEVIS         8 years old 43 %           
VINTAGE 1990
Distilled 14.12.90
Matured in a sherry butt
Butt No. 1379
Bottled 21.7.99
948 bottles
Signatory Vintage
Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd, Edinburgh

BEN NEVIS         14 years old 61.8%
LAST  BOTTLE  AND  EMPTY
        
SINGLE CASK
SCOTCH MALT WHISKY
Date distilled Dec 84
Date bottled Sept 99
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh
Code 78.25
van The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh.
'Paints and sultanas'

BEN NEVIS         21 years old 60,5 %        
Distilled 1974
Bottled 1995
182 bottles
Ben Nevis Distillery (Fort William) Limited

BEN NEVIS         26 years old 50,8 %    INFO     
Distilled 1973
Cask Nos 355 & 356
Bottled 1999
400 bottles
Ben Nevis Distillery
(Fort William) Limited

BEN NEVIS         26 years old 59 %         INFO
Distilled 1966
Genummerde flessen
Ben Nevis Distillery
Fort William) Limited

BEN NEVIS         16 years old 60,8%         
CADENHEAD'S
AUTHENTIC COLLECTION
Cask Strenght
Distilled December 1977
Bottled December 1993
No colouring
Not diluted
No chill filtration
Wm. Cadenhead,
32 Unionstreet, Campbeltown

BEN NEVIS         10 years old 46%

LAST BOTTLE  AND  EMPTY          
THISTLE COLLECTION
Distilled 22.10.92
Cask No. 3313
Bottled October 2002
Non chill filtered
Thistle, Holland

BEN NEVIS         9 years old 58.8 %     INFO        
SINGLE CASK
SCOTCH MALT WHISKY
Date distilled Jun 91
Date bottled Oct 00
Society Cask No. code 78.30
Outturn 234 bottles
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society,
The Vaults, Leith, Edinburgh
'Aero Vaseline and grapefruit'

BEN NEVIS         TEN YEARS OLD 46 %     INFO
Proprietors Ben Nevis Distillery
(Fort William) Limited.
Lochy Bridge, Fort William
The Journey of the Water of Life.

BEN NEVIS         36 years old 50 %           
THE OLD MALT CASK 50o
Single Cask Bottling
Distilled December 1964
Bottled March 2001
156 bottles
No Chill Filtration
No Colouring
Douglas Laing & Co, Ltd, Glasgow

BEN NEVIS         26 years old 50,3 %
LAST BOOTLE  AND  EMPTY  
      
Distilled 1973
Bottled 1999
Cask No. 717
233 bottles
Ben Nevis Distillery (Fort William) Limited

BEN NEVIS         35 years old 50.1 %    INFO       
HART BROTHERS´
FINEST SELECTION
CASK STRENGHT
A Rare Vintage Bottling
Distilled April 1967
Matured in Sherry wood
Bottled 2002
Hart Brothers Limited

BEN NEVIS   26 years old 53,2 %              
Distilled in 1973
Cask No. 750
Bottled in 1999
Ben Nevis Distillery (Fort William) Limited

BEN NEVIS      26 years old 53,9%                       
SINGLE HIGHLAND
MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Distilled in 1975
Cask No. 945
Bottled in 2001
237 bottles
Genummerde flessen
Ben Nevis Distillery (Fort William) Limited

BEN NEVIS       over 39 years old 40,2%        INFO    
Vintage Single Highland Malt
Scotch Whisky
HART BROTHERS
FINEST COLLECTION
EDITION
SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG MAGAZIN
Brenndatum: März 1966
Fass: Sherry Butt
Fassnummer: 1775
Abfülldatum: Oktober 2005
Anzahl der Flaschen: 180
Nummerierte Flaschen
Nicht kühl- gefiltert
Whisky Abfuller:
Hart Brothers Ltd, Glasgow

BEN NEVIS    13 years old 61,6 %          INFO   
DOUBLE WOOD MATURED
PORT WOOD FINISH
Single West Highland Malt Whisky
CASK STRENGHT
Distilled on 9th November 1990
Filled into refill hogsheads
Transferred into a
port bodega butt number 03/10/01
on 12th February 2003
Bottled 10th March 2004
800 Numbered Bottles
Ben Nevis Distillery (Fort William) Ltd.
Lochy Bridge, Fort William.

BEN NEVIS   Aged 7 years 43 %             
BATTLEHILL
Distilled: 1998
Bottled: 2005
Exclusively Bottled by Duncan Taylor & Co,
Huntly, Aberdeenshire

BEN  NEVIS            1992     14 years old 46 %
Single Highland Malt
THE  ULTIMATE  SINGLE  MALT
SCOTCH  WHISKY  SELECTION
Distilled: 03/07/92
Matured in a Sherry Butt
Cask no: 2302
Bottled: 25/04/07
Numbered Bottles
Natural Colour
Non Chillfiltered
The Ultimate Whisky Company, NL

BEN  NEVIS  25  years old  56.0 %     INFO    
SINGLE  CASK.  CASK STRENGHT
WEST  HIGHLAND  MALT  SCOTCH  WHISKY
Distilled in December 1984
DOUBLE  WOOD  MATURED
Cask No: 98 / 35 / 1
Vatted in Sherry Casks in October 1998
Bottled in January 2010
628 Numbered Bottles
Non - Chillfiltered
Ben Nevis Distillery (Fort  .

BEN  NEVIS     1 9 8 4               INFO                               
Aged  25 years  55,4 %
SINGLE  CASK.  CASK  STRENGHT
DOUBLE  WOOD  MATURED
WEST  HIGHLAND  MALT
SCOTCH  WHISKY
Distilled in December 1984
First filled into freshly dumped bourbon barrels
on 20th December 1984 and continued to
mature in these casks for almost 14 years until
on 14th October 1998 the whisky was vatted
transferred into freshly dumped sherry butts.
Maturation continued in these casks until this
particular cask was bottled in 2010 as a 25 Years
Old single west highland malt scotch whisky,
which we hope you will enjoy.
Vatted in sherry casks in October 1998
Cask No. 98 / 35 / 13
Bottled in may 2010
638 Numbered Bottles
Non - Chill Filtered
Ben Nevis Distillery (Fort Williams) Limited
Lochy Bridge, Fort William.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

BEN  NEVIS  VINTAGE  1 9 9 0                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

SIGNATORY  VINTAGE  SCOTCH  WHISKY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Distilled on 14.12.90                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Matured in a Sherry Butt                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

t No. 1376                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Bottled 2.3. 99                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Numbered Bottles                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

775 Bottles                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

This whisky has been selected, produced                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

and bottled in Scotland for and under the sole                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

responsibility of Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky Co, Ltd                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Edinburgh
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

BEN  NEVIS  15 years old  51,7 %                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Single Cask Highland  Single Malt                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Scotch Whisky                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Bottling numbered by hand                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Bottled in September 2012                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Distilled in October 1996                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

This single malt from the Ben Nevis Distillery                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

was filled into a fresh sherry cask, number                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

1654 on 28th October 1996                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

The whisky was then left to mature in this                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

cask in Duty - Free Warehouse No. 3 for a                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

period of 15 years when it was considered                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

ready for bottling at cask strength, un - chill                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

filtered in September 2012                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

523 Bottles                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Ben Nevis Distillery, (Fort William) Limited                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Lochy Bridge, Fort William

                                                                                                                                                                                       
BEN  NEVIS  46 %
1 9 9 2
Matured for 21 years                               
Highland Single Malt
THE  ULTIMATE  SINGLE  MALT
SCOTCH  WHISKY
Distilled: 03/07/92
Matured in a Sherry Butt
Cask no: 2312
Bottled: 16/08/13
695 Numbered Bottles
Natural Colour
Non Chill Filtered
Selected by The Ultimate Whisky company.NL

 

BEN  NEVIS
Established 1825
15  years old  57.3 %                                                 
SINGLE  CASK
HIGHLAND  SINGLE  MALT  SCOTCH  WHISKY
Distilled 23rd  June 1998
Matured in Sherry Cask No. 590 of 1998
Bottled in May 2014
Bottling numbered by hand
582 Numbered Bottles
Bottle No: 115
This single malt from Ben Nevis Distillery was filled into a fresh sherry butt, number 590
On 23 rd June 1998. The whisky was then left to mature in this cask in Duty - Free
Warehouse No. 3 for a period of 15 years when it was considered ready for bottling at
cask strength, un - chill filtered, in May 2014.
Product of Scotland
Ben Nevis Distillery (Fort William) Limited,
Lochy Bridge, Fort William



BEN  NEVIS
Established 1825          
21  years old  59.8 %                                                                                                                                              
SINGLE  CASK
HIGHLAND  SINGLE  MALT  SCOTCH  WHISKY
Distilled November 1990
MATURED  IN  PORT  WOOD
Initially this cask, produced in November 1990
was filled into refill hogsheads at 72.5 % vol.
After 13 years the contents of these casks were
vatted then filled into port bodega butts
This particular cask was then allowed to continue
maturing for a further 8 years to allow this whisky
to languish in this new home and to draw and
absorb some of the unique characteristics from
the cask creating this different slant on Ben Nevis
single malt whisky.
Matured in a Port Bodega Butt No. 3/10/4
As this is a more mature Ben Nevis Malt we felt it
worthy of releasing some 200 in a crystal decanter
and two glasses boxed presentation set with the
remaining 625 in what is coming to be recognized
as our Ben Nevis malt bottle
Bottled in September 2012
Bottling numbered by hand
825 Numbered Bottles
Bottle No: 662
This single malt from Ben Nevis Distillery was filled into a fresh sherry butt, number 590
On 23 rd June 1998. The whisky was then left to mature in this cask in Duty - Free
Warehouse No. 3 for a period of 15 years when it was considered ready for bottling at
cask strength, un - chill filtered, in May 2014.
Product of Scotland
Ben Nevis Distillery (Fort William) Limited,
Lochy Bridge, Fort William

Colin W. Ross, Distillery Manager


JOSEPH HOBBS

Shipping magnate. Naval veteran. Bootlegger. Cattle rancher. Joseph Hobbs was all of these things – and, to boot, one of the leading lights of the 20th century Scotch whisky industry.

Joseph William Hobbs
Renaissance man: Joe Hobbs was one of whisky's most colourful characters
Some said he shot down a Zeppelin during the First World War. Others insisted that he built Canada’s tallest skyscraper, and that he was a bootlegger during Prohibition in the US. There was even a rumour that he smuggled guns into Spain during the Civil War…

Joseph William Hobbs was the ‘Great Gatsby’ of the Scotch whisky world: everyone had a story about him, but his past was clouded in mystery. Who was he? Where did he come from? And how did this whisky industry outsider acquire the business contacts required to become one of Scotland’s leading distillery owners?

Only sketchy details exist of Joe’s early years. It seems that he was born in Hampshire in 1891, and emigrated with his family to farm 480 acres in British Columbia. During the First World War, he returned to the UK and served in the Royal Navy aboard a destroyer, before becoming an airman. After the war, he joined the Canadian naval reserve with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

There is a story that Joe found work as a salesman for Gilbey’s during the 1920s, but the evidence for his involvement in the drinks business is somewhat hazy. Except, that is, for his involvement in the shipment of Scotch and other spirits to Prohibition-era United States.

As president of shipping company Hobbs Brothers Ltd, Joe owned the cargo ship Lillehorn, the sleek steam yacht Stadacona and a fleet of smaller vessels such as the Naden and the Hurry-on which were involved in running booze into California during Prohibition.

The ships were often given unpronounceable new names, such as Kuyakuzmt, to confuse the US authorities, and they were involved in the transport of many hundreds of thousands of cases of whisky and other contraband to the California during the 1920s.

The liquid cargoes were not only shipped from Canada and Mexico. Geoffrey Cousins’ official history of William Teacher & Sons recounts how, during the 1920s, the Scottish firm sent tens of thousands of cases of Teacher’s Highland Cream in quart bottles to Antwerp, where they were loaded on to the Lillehorn and shipped via the Panama Canal to the west coast of the US.

The whisky was then transferred from the mother ship to speedboats and other small vessels, and smuggled ashore for distribution to local bootleggers – the standard modus operandi adopted by Hobbs for delivering his shipments to Californian customers.  

Prohibition-era America

Liquid assets: Joe Hobbs made a fortune from bootlegging during Prohibition

No-one knows how much money Joe made from his whisky ‘re-exportation’ business during the 1920s, but we do know that he had other, more respectable commercial interests.

For example, he was vice-president of a Toronto firm of stockbrokers, GA Stimson. That firm was involved in one of the most spectacular Canadian building projects of the 1920s, raising the finance for the construction of the famous art deco Marine Building in downtown Vancouver.

When it opened in 1930, the Marine Building was the highest skyscraper in the British Commonwealth. Unfortunately, its opening coincided with the onset of the Great Depression and it proved almost impossible to fill the building with commercial tenants. Stimson & Co went bust in 1933; Hobbs lost a fortune, and the precocious entrepreneur had to look to pastures new.

After the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, American companies rushed to secure supplies of Scotch to import legally to the US. Hobbs and two partners, Hatim Attari and Alexander Tolmie, set up Associated Scottish Distillers (ASD) to help them out. The new firm worked closely with Train & McIntyre, a Scotch whisky company that had recently become a subsidiary of the American conglomerate, National Distillers.

In 1936, ASD acquired Glenury Royal Distillery in Stonehaven, buying Glenlochy and Bruichladdich a year later. Glenesk, Fettercairn and Benromach were added in 1938, and Train & McIntyre transferred Strathdee to ASD’s management. Glenesk was converted to a grain distillery (renamed Montrose) that year, to ensure supplies of grain whisky that were independent of the dominant player in the grain whisky market, The Distillers Company Ltd.

Under Joe’s leadership, ASD had become a major force in the Scotch whisky world, and supplied vast quantities of blended Scotch for the US market. Unfortunately, the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 led to shortages and disruption to production, and the firm was unable to exploit its assets to the full. After the war, the group was broken up, and National Distillers sold Train & McIntyre to DCL in 1953.

RETURN TO THE FRAY

Undaunted by the stalling of his latest whisky venture, Hobbs returned to the fray after the war. He was convinced that large multinational companies such as DCL, Seagram and Hiram Walker were working to establish a cartel, to drive entrepreneurs like him out of the Scotch whisky business. Much of the rest of his life was spent in challenging the might of these industry giants.

Joe, like some others, feared that the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) was dominated by the multinationals and no longer represented the interests of small independent firms. In 1952 he was the driving force in the formation of the Independent Scotch Whisky Association, a rival trade organisation which, under his charismatic chairmanship, became a thorn in the side of the SWA. At the same time, he set out to re-establish a business that was not reliant on fillings from the industry’s giants.

First, he returned to the acquisition trail. During the 1930s, he had set up a company called Macnab Distilleries as a vehicle to acquire and operate the Glen Mavis Distillery. The sale fell through, but Joe kept the company name. In 1955, Macnab Distilleries acquired the Ben Nevis Distillery, once associated with the famous Long John brand.

Joe installed a Coffey still and began making both single malts and grain whiskies there. He claimed that by blending his whiskies on site, and allowing them to marry for long periods in the wood in his warehouses, he was able to produce superior blended Scotches to those of his competitors.

In 1956, Macnab Distilleries purchased the Lochside Brewery in Montrose, and Joe built a grain and a malt whisky distillery on the premises. Once again, he was able to make, blend and bottle his own whiskies, without relying on any other company for fillings. His was a truly independent whisky company.

Joe was not only famous in Scotland as a whisky baron. In 1944, he bought the grand Inverlochy Castle and its vast estates in Inverness-shire. He captured the imagination of schoolboys all over the country when he set up the Great Glen Cattle Ranch there, and brought cowboys to the Highlands.

He retained his love of the sea, and his steam yacht Torlundy (an old landing craft which he converted after the Second World War) became well-known along the West Coast of Scotland. A later acquisition, the Ocean Mist, was acquired a few years before his death in 1963. It is now serving as a floating restaurant in Leith.  

There is no evidence that Joe was ever involved in gun-running, so only one question remains: did he really shoot down a Zeppelin?

The answer is no: that was the other Hobbs boy. Joe’s brother Basil shot down the airship near Folkestone, and he was also credited with the sinking of two German U-Boats during the First World War. But that’s another story of another great character in the history of the whisky trade…


‘LONG JOHN’ MCDONALD

‘Long John’ McDonald was a giant of a man, and giant of the Scotch whisky trade, in which – with his son Donald – he established one of the world’s most famous single malts.

Long John McDonald Ben Nevis
Media-savvy: the McDonalds used commercial stunts to promote Ben Nevis whisky
Ben Nevis distillery was famous in Victorian times as the home of Long John’s Dew of Ben Nevis, one of the best-known brands of Highland single malt Scotch whisky. Although the eponymous ‘Long John’ was not the founder of the business, he and his son Donald were the men who made it famous.

The distillery was built by Angus McDonnell in 1825 on the banks of the River Lochy, just outside Fort William at the foot of Britain’s highest mountain. He started making whisky there in February 1826, and production amounted to around 200 gallons a week. Some writers believe that he was a kinsman of ‘Long John’ McDonald (1799-1856), and that the latter may have worked for him at the distillery.

We know for certain that Long John became a partner in the business in 1830 and bought Angus’ remaining stake for the large sum of £1,200 the following year.

As his nickname suggests, the new owner was a big man: reputedly 6ft 4in tall and powerfully built. One author described him as ‘a happy Hercules, the tallest man I ever beheld out of an exhibition’, and he was known as a great sportsman.

By the 1850s, newspaper reports of Queen Victoria’s Highland jaunts had captured the imagination of her subjects, and Ben Nevis had become a popular tourist attraction. Long John was the leader of what we might now call the local mountain rescue team, and was often called upon to help rescue tourists who got into difficulties while climbing its slopes.



High times: based at the foot of Ben Nevis, Long John was mountain rescue team leader

He featured in newspaper columns all over Britain in 1838, after a party including the young Duchess of Buccleuch got lost in the mist while ascending the mountain. The alarm was raised at nightfall and Long John set off in the dark, ringing a large bell, to find them. The lost souls were found and Long John brought her ladyship off the mountain on the back of his horse, using his plaid as her saddle.

As a businessman, Long John had a flair for publicity. In 1841 it was reported that Prince Augustus, the Duke of Sussex, was an aficionado of Long John’s whisky, and had two dozen bottles in his cellar. Another broadsheet reported that his whisky was supplied to the King of Holland.

Long John even sent a cask to Buckingham Palace, to be broached on the 21st birthday of the Prince of Wales. The nation’s newspapers loved the story.

By the 1850s, Long John’s Ben Nevis whisky was available throughout Britain for 42 shillings (£2.10) per dozen, each bottle fitted with a ‘patent metallic capsule’ which prevented ‘the fraudulent substitution of any inferior article’. It was advertised as ‘highly esteemed for the excellence of its flavour and patronised by the Royal Family, the Duke of Buccleuch, and most of the Scottish nobility,’ and was ‘guaranteed pure and unblended’.

One wine and spirit merchant opined that ‘families will be convinced by a single trial that Ben Nevis Dew is truly a medicine’.

Long John’s whisky may have become famous, but his business was ailing. He had borrowed heavily to operate the distillery, having spent most of his capital on acquiring the business, and the banks were not patient when there was a downturn in the market for whisky. His estate was sequestrated in 1856, and the unfortunate bankrupt died soon afterwards.

After his father’s death, the young Donald Peter McDonald (1835-91) acquired the distillery and stocks, and breathed new life into the business. Now known as Long John’s Dew of Ben Nevis, it was sold with age statements varying between five and 11 years, ‘guaranteed pure and unblended and of great age and fine flavour’.

Donald supervised the expansion of the distillery. A concrete pier was built on the river, and a fleet of his own cargo ships was employed to carry whisky along the west coast of Scotland to Glasgow and other ports in the south.



Changing times: Ben Nevis is today owned by Japanese distiller Nikka

In 1878, with demand soaring, Donald built a new distillery alongside the old and called it Nevis. He designed many of the buildings himself, using concrete in place of traditional brick or masonry where possible, and a bustling village was laid out to accommodate his employees and their families.  

When whisky writer Alfred Barnard visited in 1886, the original distillery was producing more than 150,000 gallons of single malt whisky each year, while Nevis was turning out over 250,000 gallons. Barnard recorded a workforce of 30 men employed at Ben Nevis and 200 more at the new distillery, although many of the men worked on shared services such as warehousing, coopering and carting.

While much of the demand for the whisky came from blenders, Long John’s Dew of Ben Nevis remained, arguably, the world’s best-known single malt brand. The National Guardian reported in 1888 that ‘the demand for this most excellent of Highland malts is very considerable and steadily advancing in France’.

It was also exported to English-speaking countries such as Australia and the US. In every case, great play was made of the fact that Long John’s Dew of Ben Nevis was a single malt: ‘A fine Highland whisky in its pure natural state and not blended with grain spirit’.  

Its fame was boosted by the talent for promotion that Donald had evidently learned from his father. When the British Medical Association issued a report on alcohol-related diseases, for example, he quickly adopted some of its findings in his advertising, to suggest that drinking Long John might prolong life expectancy.

Donald died in 1891, leaving a personal fortune of more than £110,000. The business was inherited by his sons, but it appears that they tired of the challenge to sell single malt in a market increasingly dominated by heavily-promoted blended whiskies.

In 1911, they sold the Long John trademark to the wine and spirits merchant WH Chaplin & Co, and one of the most famous names in the world of single malt whisky became a blended Scotch.
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