If you’ve never seen a bottle of Daftmill at your local store, there’s a pretty good reason why. Daftmill is a true farm distillery in every sense of the word. The Cuthbert brothers decided to turn their working farm into a micro-distillery and started distilling production in 2005. They grow all their own barley and use water from the property’s own natural spring. The distillery is only in operation during the farm’s off-season periods—for two months in the summer and two months in the winter.
Limited production time means very limited aged product. Daftmill’s maximum production capacity is 20,000 liters of alcohol. Compare this to a giant in the industry like Glenfiddich, whose maximum capacity of 13 million liters is 650 times that of Daftmill. Simply put, there’s not a lot of stock out there because there’s not a lot of stock period.
Daftmill’s first official release was in 2018 but the distillery has been making quite a name for itself ever since then. This release is a 12 year old whisky from their Summer 2006 distilling period. I’m a really big fan of very small batch releases and this whisky comes from just 7 first fill bourbon barrels (numbered 67 through 73). There were 1,680 bottles of this release made for the US and I’m told just 16 bottles were available in my home state of CT.
Daftmill 2006 Summer Release was distilled in 2006 and bottled in 2019 at 46% ABV. It is non-chill filtered and (very clearly) has no added color.
|Orange blossom, apples, barley-driven cereal, vanilla, lemon custard, light perfume, green tea leaves, coconut.
|Lots of orange citrus, fresh cut hay, vanilla bean, pears in syrup, dried tropical fruit mix, Lemonheads candy, a hint of licorice, light cinnamon, fresh-baked breads and pastries.
|A gradual arrival of light baking spice followed by fresh-cut flowers, orange marmalade and pencil shavings. The finish is a bit on the short side and doesn’t evolve a lot but it’s nice.
|This is certainly a lowland whisky if I’ve ever had one. It’s light, floral, and heavy on the citrus and tropical notes. Despite being bottled at 46% ABV, I still found it to be rich and oily and while the finish was a bit short, I liked what I was tasting a lot. The big knock on this (though it didn't effect the score) is the price. Supply and demand is very much a real thing with a distillery that only produces whisky for a few months out of the year. I’d like to try other releases to get a better picture of what this distillery has to offer.