The Wemyss Family

Ancestry that dates back to the 12th Century

A family steeped in Scottish history

The origins of the Wemyss name is from the Scottish Gaelic uaimh meaning 'cave'. The Wemyss family seat is Wemyss Castle about 40 minutes drive along the coast from Kingsbarns Distillery. There is a cave formation on the coast below the castle from which it is thought the name drew inspiration. The family criss-crossed Scottish history through from the time of Robert the Bruce, the Battle of Culloden, all the way to the life of Mary, Queen of Scots and of course into the present day.

The connection with whisky, however, dates to James Haig opening Cameronbridge Grain Distillery (the largest of its kind in the world) on land leased from Captain Wemyss in the 19th century. Hands-on experience though did not come until the beginning of the 21st century with the independent bottling business 'Wemyss Malts' being founded in 2005 and then Kingsbarns Distillery in 2014.

Kingsbarns distillery is family owned and operated by the award-winning single malt blenders and independent bottlers, Wemyss, who have a long standing reputation and experience in the whisky business.

The Wemyss Family today

Our Founder William Wemyss and Production Director Isabella Wemyss run Kingsbarns as a brother-sister partnership. They are at the very forefront of every decision and have steered Kingsbarns to the successful position we find ourselves today. An interest in tradition, but a nose for experimentation, drives the Wemyss name forward, paving new roads in the world of Scotch and for the rich Lowland distilling history.

The family also still runs Wemyss Malts which continues to flourish and release exciting new blends and single malt single casks. Darnley's also (our gin distilled on the Kingsbarns site) continues to distil nature into a refreshing and alluring spirit.