Wemyss family to build whisky distillery

The site of the new Kingsbarns distillery.
The site of the new Kingsbarns distillery.

THE Wemyss family looks set to continue its long standing relationship with the whisky industry by building a new single malt distillery and visitor centre at Kingsbarns.

The distillery will sit around six miles from Saint Andrews and will be within sight of the award winning Kingsbarns championship golf course, on land leased for the project by Sir Peter Erskine of the Cambo Estate.

The Wemyss family has links with the whisky industry going back to the turn of the 19th century when John Haig, founder of Haig’s, built his first distillery on Wemyss land, and since 2005, with the independent bottler Wemyss Malts.

However, the Wemyss family also has a historical link with the site of the new Kingsbarns distillery as the 7th Earl of Wemyss owned part of the Cambo Estate between 1759 and 1783.

The family is being supported in the project through a grant from the Scottish Government.

It is expected that development of the existing listed building on the site will begin in early 2013, with a view to beginning distilling and welcoming visitors a year later.

William Wemyss said on behalf of the family: “This rare opportunity to distil our own single malt whisky and develop a new Scotch whisky brand to support our existing business as an independent bottler will secure the family interest in Scotch for the next generation.

“We are delighted to be working with the Scottish Government, Sir Peter Erskine and Kingsbarns Distillery founder,Doug Clement, to bring a new distillery and visitor centre to the east Fife area.”

The family already owns its own Wemyss Malts brand, which has a range including The Spice King, The Peat Chimney and The Hive plus the recently launched 15-year-old blended Scotch named ‘Lord Elcho’ after one of the family’s ancestors.