Wemyss is Gaelic for cliff caves. The name is derived from the rocky coast near Fife, a small Scottish town that has been the family seat of the Wemysses for more than 800 years. The Wemyss family has been owning the Wemyss Castle for more than six centuries and has had good relationships with the whisky industry for generations. Thus John Haig built his distillery on the Wemyss family property in 1824. Haig's distillery is still active and is now known as Cameronbridge.
Even today barley for the whisky production is cultivated on the Wemyss family property.
Wemyss also built a new distillery in Fife together with Douglas Clement. The distillery, called Kingsbarns, was ceremonially opened on 1 December 2014.
The independent bottling and blending company Wemyss is managed by Isabella Wemyss and her brother William.
The concept behind the Wemyss range is rather unusual. Instead of advertising the origin of the casks on the label, Wemyss puts the focus on the aroma of the malts. The emphasis is on the character of the whiskies rather than on the name of the distillery. This leads to illustrious names such as "Blackcurrant Coulis" or "At Anchor in a Cove". Behind this concept lies the view of the Wemyss family that malts should be bought for their taste, not for the distillery they come from.
Charles MacLean selects the casks for the single cask range personally. He also created the three blended malts made from a total of 16 single malts, which also belong to the core range of Wemyss. The three different bottlings The Hive, Spice King and The Chimney are bottled as 8-year-old and 12-year-old blended malts.