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  • Writer's pictureHarold

Daftmill

There was a time when Daftmill sort of felt like it was becoming the new Springbank or Weller/Buffalo Trace a few years ago. The whisky nerds gabbed on and on about their love for this farm to bottle, traditional Lowland style of whisky producer so much that their "small batch," limited releases often got snatched up and flipped instantaneously. The single casks are still pretty coveted but the overall consistency, increased bottle counts, market expansions and retail mark-ups have helped to keep their core products from finding too many auctions, these days.

 
Daftmill 2007/12 Year |Winter Batch Release|  1st Fill Bourbon - 46% (US Exclusive)
Bottle Image Credit: Reddit

Daftmill

2007/12 Year |Winter Batch Release|

1st Fill Bourbon - 46%

*US Exclusive*


1,680 bottles of this batch was released back in 2020, aged in six (6) first fill bourbon barrels, using entirely optic barley. This was the second expression of Daftmill to hit the states, I believe. In order to deal with the limited amount of production they've had to split up their summer/winter batches amongst the various markets. Trust me, we're not complaining!


Appearance: Old gold/Amber

First Whiff: Juicy Fruit gum and marshmallow fluff.

Nose: Insanely approachable (no burn), no spice...buttery! Fruity/floral...like a proper Lowland (like that means anything). Candied fruit-heavy with bubblegum, banana, cotton candy grapes...mixed with some lemon zest and beeswax underneath.

Palate: Oily and bright. There's a warm, fruit juice feeling to it, which is nice and refreshing, but lacks a little depth. The mouth matches the nose here, with some additional brambly/stone fruits...red (Bing) cherries and red plum juice. Hard to shake that Juicy Fruit gum note, honestly...

Finish: Falls apart from the mid-palate on. There's a subtle sour-tartness citricity which awakens at the end but never overwhelms.


Summary: This felt like a freak fermentation experiment...a la Fermutation's style from Ardbeg (although, not quite as extreme). According to various sites, Daftmill runs a long-ish 72-100 hours fermentation cycle though, so the fruitiness is not completely shocking. The nose was wonderful but everything fell a bit flat after that. Seems it would make a perfect marraige for the typically, sweet toothed American market, but for me...was a bit too irregular, and lacked any sort of backbone in the mouth.

IDS SCORE: 82

 
Daftmill 2006/15 Year |Cask Strength|  First Fill Ex Bourbon Barrels - 55.7%
Bottle Image Credit: Whiskybase

Daftmill

2006/15 Year |Cask Strength|

First Fill Ex Bourbon Barrels - 55.7%


A landmark bottling for the Cuthbert family and the rest of the team, last year, as this marked the oldest expression released, to date. Over five thousand bottles were released but I can't seem to find any that reached the states. I wonder if that was something strategic or a lack of demand for a 15 year old at its arguably, "connoisseur level" price point.


Appearance: Deep gold

First Whiff: Freshly pollinated honeysuckles.

Nose: Chalky and floral...certainly favoring those first fill barrels. Almond cookies, with an almost almond extract-like sweetness and lemon custard, vanilla shortbread, covered in Acacia honey.

Palate: Again, oily and bright with a flat-ish feel. Getting that Juicy Fruit gum note again, which seems to overpower this pour. Thins out rather quickly and reveals a sugar-y Laffey Taffey/banana and orange creamsicle feeling...swiftly giving way to some citric/tangy off-notes.

Finish: Medium, refreshing...orange flavored Gatorage vibes with a fair bit of bite towards the end.


Summary: Consistency is a good thing, I guess. Funny, the Juicy Fruit thing reminds me of young Clynelish but the flatter mouthfeel/subtle tropical-ness stirs up a few of the few memories I have with some pours out of the Penderyn distillery...which is odd, given the use of the Faraday still in their case. The cask strength never really got in the way, showcasing that beautiful, buttery spirit. I think there needs to be a contrasting element to the bourbon wood here...something with warmer wood/spicier notes to balance off the super fresh bourbon character.

IDS SCORE: 84

 

Daftmill

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