Daftmill and I have yet to become proper friends. The ones that I’ve reviewed on my blog have ranged from slightly above average to one example that I just wouldn’t recommend. I’ve tasted somewhat better releases that I haven’t written tasting notes for, but so far there hasn’t been one that has gotten me truly excited yet. Maybe today…
To be fair, Daftmill deserves a lot of praise and has gotten it as well. The distillery is a whisky geek’s wet dream, only surpassed by very few others (maybe Dornoch?). I’m not entirely sure, but they might be the only self-sufficient farm distillery in Scotland. And in all honesty, I seem to be on the lower end of the curve when it comes to appreciating Daftmill. There are many reviewers and whisky enthusiasts that hold Daftmill in much higher esteem, like Noortje, who provided me with today’s sample.
It’s the Winter Batch Release from 2020. Distilled in 2007 and aged for 12 years, it matured in 7 first-fill bourbon casks and was reduced in strength before bottling. Like with any of Daftmill’s releases it sold out quickly and you’ll now have to pay a premium if you want one.
Daftmill 2007 12 Years (46%, OB, Winter Batch Release)
Nose: A substantial hit of vanilla at first, followed by lovely floral notes and gentle orchard fruits (apple and pear) with just a whisper beeswax and lemon zest. After a while some touches of lime, nectarine and frosting. Gentle, fragile almost, but rich and rewarding too.
Taste: An inviting, creamy mouthfeel with fresh fruits but also quite a bit of vanilla again, as well as a decent amount of wood spices and ginger, but thankfully not as much as I’ve experienced in other Daftmill. A whiff of grapefruit and lemon pith, as well as kumquats.
Finish: More fruits, menthol and lingering spices.
The oak and spices are kept in check, which has been my main criticism of other bourbon matured Daftmill. It does lean on vanilla little too much at time, but overall this is easily my favourite Daftmill to date. This is the first time I get the Rosebank comparison.
I could be wrong, but isn’t Kilchoman also a selfsufficient farm distillery?
Well, I thought about that, but Kilchoman doesn’t grow all their own barley, while Daftmill does. Then again, Kilchoman has a malting floor and kilns, while Daftmill outsources to a commercial maltster.