Daftmill are a Lowland Whisky distillery based in the county of Fife along Scotland’s east coast, north of Edinburgh. The distillery was founded in 2005 by brothers Francis and Ian Cuthbert whose family has been growing malting barley at the Daftmill farm for six generations.
The distillery produces seasonal independent bottlings using ingredients sourced entirely from the Daftmill farm. The barley grows in the fields surrounding the distillery and water is sourced from the farm’s well, which sits on top of an artesian aquifer. The aquifer below traps water between layers of impermeable rock, applying pressure and giving it a light sparkle present as it gets drawn from the artesian well.
While the distillery first became operational in 2005, Daftmill’s inaugural release didn’t take place until 2018 when just 629 bottles of 12 year-old whisky went on sale for the first time. In a world where every other new distillery is desperate to get their first batch out as soon as is legally possible (three years and a day after distillation), it was a real surprise and breath of fresh air when this, previously unheard of, distillery suddenly came out with a 12 year old expression of a never seen before whisky.
Furthermore, the press reaction to the whiskies Daftmill produce has been such that the distillery became a household name over night. Previously it had been assumed by some that the Lowland Whisky category had hit a bit of a slump. With the introduction of Daftmill into the market plus the re-emergence of the Rosebank Distillery (scheduled for 2023), there’s now high hopes and great expectations for this traditionally light, subtle and complex style of Scotch whisky.
Ian and Francis still work the surrounding farm so new batches of Daftmill are produced just once every summer and winter. Aside from the seasonal releases, you’ll also occasionally spot a single cask bottling produced by the distillery. As you can imagine each bottle of Daftmill is highly sought after so stocks are generally extremely limited.
While the flavour profile of whisky changes depending on the vintage and effects of maturation, the Daftmill style prevails with predominant notes of orchard fruits and winter spice. Keep an eye out for future batch releases, they don’t last long!