Obituary – Colin Ross (1948 – 2021)

Colin Ross. Photograph: Iain Ferguson,

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With the recent death of Colin Ross, the community has lost a kind and generous man who over many years has helped numerous groups and charities by providing bottles of Ben Nevis whisky for their fundraising events.

As a much-loved family man married to Rosie for 51 years, with children Aaron and Siobhan, grandchildren and great grand children, Colin always had time to spend with them, however busy he was at work at Ben Nevis Distillery.

Originally from Fochabers where his father had a haulage business, Colin went on to spend his entire working life in the whisky industry, starting at Chivas in Keith, then moving on to Tormore.

He worked at Ben Nevis from 1983 to 1987, then at Laphroaig, before returning to Fort
William in 1989 and really making the distillery his own.

Working with colleagues locally and in Japan, he oversaw the development of the visitor centre and exhibition in the distillery, making it a ‘must see’ place for visitors from across the globe.

Colin himself travelled the world as advocate for the brand which under his guidance
took many top awards, demonstrated by the sheer number of certificates adorning the walls of the visitor centre.

In 2015, he was inducted into the whisky ‘Hall of Fame’, an accolade reserved for only a
special few in the industry, although in his usual quiet and modest way he accepted this
recognition with the minimum of fuss and attention.

The high regard in which he was held and the many friends he made was demonstrated by the sheer number of messages received by the family locally and from across the world, expressing their sympathy at his passing.

His funeral service, shared on social media for the many unable to attend due to Covid
restrictions, was conducted by Reverend Richard Baxter last Monday in Fort William Kilmallie (Duncansburgh) Church and thereafter at Inverness Crematorium. IF