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“Unforgettable, in a bad way.”

Ben Nevis Distillery
Ranked #20 of 52 things to do in Fort William
Attraction details
Reviewed 13 July 2014

I love whisky and I always look to find new exciting whisky to my collection.
The brochure promised a unforgettable experience.
Well, it was.
Customer care is not what the staff at this destillery is good at.
The manager at the front desk did not look up from his desk when we arrived, so I walked into the bar.
The barkeeper eagerly did everything in her mind to keep her selv busy. I did not get service, neither did the other chap in the room.
We left and found our whisky someplace else.
My worst destillery experience so far.

2  Thank Jcl81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"buy a bottle"
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292 - 296 of 510 reviews

Reviewed 13 July 2014

The tour starts with a film watchable in different languages (just one at a time).
Then you will be guided through every step of whiskey production done at the place of the distillery. The guides know a lot to tell and are very friendly, also help you with storing your bags, which is very nice when you decided to walk there. Part of the distillery is also a little café, serving cakes, coffee and tea. The tasting is not done in a separate room, which is a minus for me. As production only runs 8 month a year you are allowed to take pictures everywhere when coming during days where the stills are not working.
To sum up, Ben Nevis is not the most beautiful distillery, but as the tours are nice it is worth a stop.

3  Thank Berliphine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2014

The car park had plenty of space (mainly because it was almost empty, which is a good thing if distillery visitors are making the wise choice of going elsewhere) and so I parked.

We were looking for a distillery barrel to have photos next to prior to entering the Ben Nevis distillery, but couldn't see one, but did think we had seen the entrance way, only to discover it was the exit.
When we did go through the entrance, we were met by a man standing infront of a cheap (in design, build quality and colour) looking counter with a young lady standing behind it. The walls were bland, the lighting was uninviting and it was a poor portrayal of the company. Expressing neither the vibrancy of the the whisky produced nor the refinement of this long running distillery.

The man greeting us had been watching us through the window and wished to know why we had walked around the side of the building when the entrance was at the front. After our reason was given, the man said to my fine Scottish friend; quote "you're a bit of a numpty then".

Not wishing to spoil our holiday whisky tour, we overlooked this, and we were informed "a tour for three then". I asked how long the tour would take, as we needed to get to the Oban distillery and pick up supplies before catching a ferry.
The man said "the tour can last as long as you want, how long do you want it to last"?
Replying "ten minutes", the man suggested we would not have time, which was a shame considering he had clearly said it could last "as long as we wanted"; which was clearly a lie.

After the insult and lie, we headed through the unmarked drab doorway to the visitors shop to see the rush and bustle of the two visitors sat at the bar.

Having visited twelve distilleries on our holiday tour, this has to be the worst one by way of greeting staff, bland entrance ways, poor customer skills (insult and lie), lack of clear signage of facilties and prices, the feeling of a vetting process at the entrance, outdated toilet facilities and the general impression that the distillery is in serious financial trouble or just not interested in having visitors. Which ever way it is sliced, this distilleries visitor center is an insult to Scottish hospitality.

10 minutes from arrival to departure, less time than it took to place this review.

5  Thank james r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2014

We had planned our cycling through parts of Scotland and visiting Distilleries along the way with great care and time (nearly a year in advance). We were excited to visit Ben Nevis Whisky Distillery as the surrounding area was so very beautiful and we had met only lovely people in our travels. We arrived on our bikes at Ben Nevis Whisky Distillery and we were excited at visiting this Distillery. We were met by a most unpleasant man who told us that we could not enter as they were very busy that day. We asked if we could do a tasting. He said this was impossible. We understand that you have to do an hour tour to taste and sadly we could not do this at every Distillery we visited. We asked if we could visit the Show Room and he said they were too busy with school children to allow us in. I feel that a person who may be in charge of any customer relationship position should be a little more accommodating in at least saying please feel free to come in, look around and perhaps buy some if you would like to. I will never purchase Ben Nevis Whisky (perhaps my loss) but we visited many more places which I will also review which were just fantastic. We are all involved in the hospitality field in South Africa and our word of mouth of our experiences in Scotland have mostly been so enjoyable. Its a beautiful Country with wonderful people.

2  Thank Jenny E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 July 2014

Definite pros and cons to the tour, but overall we had a good time.

The tour begins with a VT which is incredibly dated (filmed in 1992!) and was in some places just hilariously ridiculous. We weren't quite sure exactly what Hector was meant to represent, but in ten minutes you get a rough guide through millennia of Scottish history and the advent of whisky-making. He never reappears during the tour. Our guide after was really friendly and funny if a bit nervous at times, but some of the facts he gave us along the way were fascinating (and mars bar whisky really does sound like something the distillery should pursue). We got more details from him during the sampling, when we had questions and he told us all the little bits and bobs about individual blends, and he proved that he was very knowledgeable about the products.

I do agree that £5 each for a sip of one blend that, we were told, is pretty much representative of all the other whiskys in the shop is quite steep, and I'm not sure it is ever accurate to say that one whisky will give you insights into all the other ones as well. It was a bit disappointing that, though we could discuss the other bottles, we couldn't taste them. My husband was particularly gutted about the blend which is apparently 15% more peaty than the peatiest whisky currently on the market. It's harsh to tell us about that but not let us try it! I wasn't too bothered that we sampled a blend though - it seems a lot of whisky-drinkers are philistines when it comes to blends or singles, which you will find out more about on the tour!

So the sampling should offer more choice, and the introductory video could use a serious update but other than that it was an enjoyable hour or so and we learned things about whisky we never knew before. Well worth a visit.

1  Thank MrsWS-2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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