WEMYSS Malts has revealed it is building a gin distillery in the East Neuk of Fife, paving the way for its Darnley’s gin to be made in Scotland for the first time.

The Edinburgh-based drinks business, a subsidiary of the historic Wemyss Development Company, is developing the facility next to its £3 million Kingsbarns Distillery, which it commissioned in late 2014.

Wemyss, which is installing its gin distillery in a disused cottage, said it is on track to commence production in June. The distillery will produce gin in 360-litre batches, with production being kept to small amounts to allow the company to innovate and keep closer control of the distilling process.

The value of the investment has not been disclosed. But, with the company aiming to drive annual case sales of Darnley’s to 20,000 within three years, up from the current 8,000, managing director William Wemyss said: “With the investment that has gone into Kingsbarns single malt distillery we see it as a very important part of our business going forward.”

Bringing the production of Darnley’s to Scotland is a symbolic move for Wemyss, which has produced the London-style spirit in the UK capital since the brand’s launch in 2010. It will make the gin just 20 miles from Wemyss Castle on the Cambo Estate, seat of the Wemyss family since the 14th century. A visitor centre will be incorporated into the distillery, allowing drinks enthusiasts to view how the gin is made close up. In the long run it is hoped that visitors will be given the chance to make their own gin at the distillery.

Mr Wemyss, who expects to take on tour guides and more sales and marketing staff as the brand grows, said: “We felt it was the right time to refresh Darnley’s Gin and also to bring production in house, more specifically, home to Fife, where the Wemyss family has lived and worked centuries.

“Our links to the whisky industry date back almost two centuries and our foray into producing began back in the 1970s. Investing in the Darnley’s Gin portfolio and in being ‘made in Scotland’ is another bold step in our business story which is driven by an ongoing passion for making the highest quality of spirits for people to enjoy.

“We are all very much looking forward to rolling out our plans for Darnley’s Gin and to seeing it flourish in markets around the world in years to come.”

Wemyss has marked the distillery’s launch by relaunching the brand and adding to new recipes to the portfolio - Darnley’s Navy Strength and what is believed to be the world’s first spiced gin, made from 10 botanicals.

The Original Darnley’s product will continue to be distilled as a London dry gin when it is made in Fife.

Mr Wemyss explained: “That’s part of the brand’s DNA and will be made to exactly the same recipe.

“We’ve got assistance from Charles Maxwell in London where it is made at the moment. He is going to help us with that transition process.”

Wemyss plans to introduce the range to Darnley’s 23 existing markets this year, led by the UK, where the gins will be sold in specialist outlets and retailers from April.

Darnley’s brand manager Emma Hopper said: “This is an incredibly exciting and significant time for Darnley’s Gin as we move into the next chapter in our brand story.”

The Wemyss project comes as Scottish gin goes from strength to strength.

More than 20 distilleries opened last year, with exports worth £392 million between January and October – 11 per cent more than in 2015. Gin produced in Scotland accounts for around two-thirds of UK output.