Hobbs already owned several other distilleries (including Bruichladdich), and would go on to found Lochside in 1957, taking the unusual step of installing Coffey stills for grain whisky production at both Ben Nevis and Lochside to help fulfil his blending requirements. 'Single blend' releases have appeared from both distilleries.
After Hobbs died in 1964, the distillery was hit hard by the whisky slump in the late 1970s, falling silent in 1978. Under the ownership of Whitbread, who bought the distillery in 1981, Ben Nevis underwent a major refurbishment but was only in operation for a brief period between 1984-86. Whitbread sold up to the Japanese whisky company Nikka in 1989, and the distillery has since been in continuous production, having recommenced distillation in 1990. A 10 year-old official bottling has been available since 1996, with some limited editions of older stock and wood finishes appearing at a slow trickle in the last few years.
From the website
Ben Nevis Distillery established in 1825, is one of the oldest licensed distilleries in Scotland. The distillery is nestled at the foot of Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, which has a summit elevation of 4'406 feet above sea level. This imposing mountain provides an impressive background to a traditional Scottish craft.
The distillery was established in 1825 by "Long John" McDonald, a 6ft 4in descendant of a ruler of the western Scottish kingdom of Argyll. In 1878 a second distilling unit was built nearby as an extension to Ben Nevis itself. It was called Nevis and operated as a separate entity for 30 years before being absorbed into the Ben Nevis operation in 1908. A housing development occupies the site of Nevis distillery. In 1989 the distillery was sold by Whitbread to Mitsui, partner of the Japanese whisky-makers Nikka. The new owners restored production of malt but not grain whisky in 1990 under the name Ben Nevis Distillery Co Ltd.