The Wemyss family have had a longstanding passion for malt whisky and their connections with the industry date back to the turn of the 19th century when John Haig (founder of Haig's) built his first distillery on Wemyss land. Our family name, pronounced 'Weems', comes from the Gaelic word for caves which stems from the rocky outcrop on the Firth of Forth on which our family home, Wemyss Castle, sits. Looking back towards Edinburgh, the castle has been the family seat for over six centuries.
With many years experience crafting high quality wines, combined with the family's passion for whisky, a handcrafted range of malt whiskies seemed the logical choice. Even today barley from the Wemyss Estate is prized by many of the leading distillers, and Cameron Bridge distillery is located just a few miles from the castle itself.
With this passion came the gradual realisation that, even for the knowledgeable consumer, much of the malt whisky terminology can be confusing. Our range of hand crafted malts was conceived with the aim of making them more accessible and understandable.
We use the taste and aromas of the individual whiskies to identify each bottling, rather than the distillery, so the consumer can more easily understand the style being purchased.
At Wemyss Malts we choose the best malt whisky casks that the industry has to offer - we do this by having our 'Nosing Panel' pore over the many different casks that come in from our suppliers. We are in effect what the wine industry calls a 'negociant'- choosing, blending and bottling a small number of very fine casks for our discerning customers.
Each cask that is chosen for bottling is representative of the best characteristics of its regional origins and only the best casks are chosen by our Nosing Panel, which is chaired by Charlie Maclean. This strict selection process limits the number of casks which are of the exceptional quality required to be elevated into this range.
After our Nosing Panel has selected the casks, they then delve into the flavour profile of these casks to ensure that the name given to each whisky reflects the unique aromas and flavours found within the bottle.
All our single cask bottlings come in an individual gift carton, and are presented on a regional basis, reflecting the different taste profiles. Currently, there are five different malts in the range: Speyside, Highland, Islay, Lowland and Campbeltown.
All are bottled at a minimum of 46% but occasionally we come across casks of such quality that they dictate bottling at natural cask strength. All of our single cask offerings are non chill-filtered and free of artificial colouring, such as caramel. Perfect when drunk neat, or with water, whatever your taste.
Our Nosing Panel is chaired by no lesser an industry character and aficionado than Charlie Maclean, author of no less than eight books on the subject. Having chosen them we then designate them for either our blended malt range or, if they're considered of outstanding quality, our Single Cask range. All our whiskies are identified by their natural taste and aromas.
We have a very strict wood policy at Wemyss Malts, to ensure that we can consistently bottle the highest quality whiskies. We only use 1st fill or 2nd fill casks* to ensure that the wood is still active and can impart as much flavour as possible. Our 1st fill casks are rejuvenated by charring (the process of burning the inside of the cask to remove the old wood) to revitalise the wood before being re-used.
*1st fill casks are those which have previously held Sherry or Bourbon, but are being used for whisky maturation for the first time. 2nd fill casks are those which are being used for whisky maturation for a 2nd time.
We are dedicated to producing the highest quality of whiskies possible, and so have also introduced a filling programme, in order for us to ensure quality and sustainability of Wemyss Malts in years to come.