Ben Wyvis was a Scottish single malt distillery that was only in production for eleven years between 1965 and 1976. It was built to provide unpeated malt to be used in the Whyte & Mackay blend. With just over a decade of distillation and the time passed since its closure mean that bottlings of Ben Wyvis are extremely rare, highly collectable and now very expense
Very few tasting notes of Ben Wyvis exist as a limited number of single malts were ever released. Most describe it as 'not peated but big and robust with earthy and cereal notes'. Bottlings have appeared from the ownership under the Ben Wyvis, Wyvis or Ferintosh names in the past. A few casks were also sporadically released by independent bottling companies. However, the last known one was around twenty years ago.
The production of Ben Wyvis single malt took place within the grounds of the large Invergordon single grain distillery in the Highlands of Scotland. There was a two tonne mash tun, six cast iron fermentation washbacks and one pair of stills (one wash still and one spirit still, both with a 10,000 litre capacity) dedicated to this. Water for production and cooling was taken from the nearby Loch Glass. All other production details have been lost to time.
Ben Wyvis was founded in 1965 by Invergordon Distillers Ltd. and is located in the north Highland town of Invergordon. This is situated on the Cromarty Firth, just north of the Black Isle and about one hour from Inverness. It was named after the Ben Wyvis mountain, which translates as 'hill of terror' from Gaelic, near Dingwall.
Ben Wyvis was only to operate for just over a decade and closed in 1976. The buildings were demolished a year later in 1977. Very little evidence of the distillery remains. The exception is the two copper pot stills - these are in production at the Glengyle distillery in Campbeltown.
Prior to the Invergordon Distillers Ltd. project there had been another local distillery by the name of Ben Wyvis. This was founded by D. G. Ross in 1879 in Dingwall. It lasted less than fifty years and finally closed in 1926 after numerous financial difficulties. Records show that the name had been changed to Ferintosh in 1893.