Daftmill 2006 12 Years Old (2019)
So this is that Daftmill. The first ever sherry matured single cask released by the distillery, one of only two sherry casks filled back in 2006. The colour after 12 years of ageing is pitch dark. Needless to say, but this turned out to be popular.
This cask was bottled for Berry Bros & Rudd, the official distributor for Daftmill. They organised a ballot to keep things as fair as possible. In the end I was ‘honoured’ with the chance to buy a bottle.
While ballots have been used for popular releases for a while now, I still can’t quite get used to them. They’re weird. They feel counterintuitive. They make me feel the same way the Scotch Malt Whisky Society does. Why should I pay for the privilege to buy whisky?
Or in the case of ballots: why should I be thankful that you’re willing to sell a bottle to me? For 145 pounds no less. And then I was charged shipping costs of 30 pounds. Ridiculous. And yet, I could’ve said no at any point. Nobody forced me to agree to this process and that price. So I can only blame myself.
Either way, I now have a bottle of this Daftmill. And I opened it. That seems to be rare. These things are going for 4 or 5 times their retail value at auction. Seems like I got a bargain… Or did I?
Daftmill 2006 12 Years Old (57,4%, OB, C#039/2006)
Nose: As the colour suggests, this is intense. Earthy and rich. Hints of soy sauce and maggi, with dark chocolate, raisins, as well as dates and dark molasses. Touches of espresso, yet not bitter. There’s a whiff of strawberries too, as well as sweet candy canes. This seems to deliver!
Taste: Okay, maybe I was a bit too quick to judge. The cask has completely overtaken the spirit. Lots of espresso bitterness, as well as big notes of cloves, burnt oak, black peppercorns and dry and nutty flavours. Even a tinge of fruitiness would’ve made a big difference, but it’s just not there. How about a splash of water then? Nah, that doesn’t do much at all.
Finish: Bone dry with more of the above, as well as a touch of cocoa powder. Long.
This is one of the few times where a separate score for the nose and taste might’ve been useful. There’s just such a big discrepancy between the two.
While the nose is of good quality, I have to take everything into account when assigning a score. The palate… I don’t know, it’s not very convincing. There’s no nuance or balance. I can’t quite believe this received a 90 point score from both Serge and Angus. But hey, I guess you can’t argue taste.
If you’re desperate to try this heavily sherried Daftmill, I’ll be bringing it with me to the Whiskybase Gathering next week. I decided to bring it before I wrote these notes — so don’t accuse me of bringing this just because I’m not a big fan 🙂 There is a BYOB on Saturday that I’m attending. So look me up!
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.