...where distraction is the main attraction.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Daftmill 15 year old 2006 Cask Strength

I'm not going to top the intro I wrote for my previous Daftmill review (in 2020), so I encourage you to read that post first if you're curious about my feelings about the Cuthbert family and their wee Lowland distillery, Daftmill. Here's a hint: the feelings are positive. The fact that a new distillery was daft enough to actually allow their product to mature for more than a decade before bringing it to the market still makes me smile.

In addition to the 2006-2019 Summer Release referenced above, I've also reviewed the 2006-2018 Winter Release. Both whiskies were "modest and peaceful" and spirit-forward, about 12 years of age and diluted to 46%abv. Today, I'm trying my first cask strength Daftmill, and perhaps their oldest release so far: a 15 year old.

Distillery: Daftmill
Owner: Francis Cuthbert
Region: Bow of Fife, Lowlands
Age: minimum 15 years old (2006-2022)
Barley: Chariot
Maturation: 28 first-fill bourbon casks
Outturn: 5338 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 55.7%abv
Chillfiltered? No
Colorant Added? No
(from a bottle split)


Mmmmm. Shortbread biscuits, honey, and yuzus in the nose, with brown sugar, herbes de Provence, and cardamom pods in the background. The palate starts with an fruity/floral eau de vie mixed with lime juice and a hint of grapefruit. It's quite tart and mildly sweet, with plenty of peppercorns in the background. It finishes with shortbread, limes, peppercorns.

DILUTED to 46%abv, or 1¼ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

Orange peel and vanilla bean take the fore in the nose now, something woodsy (not woody) in the middle, and a hint of miso in the back. Tart oranges and black peppercorns fill the palate, with a floral hint around the edges. It finishes with a mix of fresh ginger, oranges, and vanilla.


The pretty nose reads like something between (what we all used to generalize as) Speyside and Lowland, with some decent complexity when served neatly. Youth has not left the palate, giving it just enough bite and fight to keep it from getting too soft.

Though one must continue to pay a premium for this tiny distillery's output, this 15 year old cask strength version is the same price as the 12 year old diluted batches we received here in The States.

As far as overall quality, while I've yet to have a real stunner from Daftmill, each of their single malts has been very good, making them the most reliable Lowland malt distillery at the moment. How about two more Daftmills this week?

Availability - European Union
Pricing - $250-$300 (w/VAT, exchange rate as of 6 Feb)
Rating - 86