Coming Soon: Daftmill 15-Year-Old Cask Strength!
This is not a drill - the arrival of the long-awaited Daftmill 15-year-old Cask Strength is nearly upon us!
The existence of a forthcoming official 15-year-old cask strength Daftmill has been known since early 2022, and the whisky made its public debut back in March for lucky punters of the Fife Whisky Festival, giving plenty of time for the anticipation and hype to build. Now that the time has finally come, here's everything we know about Daftmill 15-year-old.
Daftmill 15-year-old Cask Strength has been assembled from a relatively large batch of 28 first fill ex-bourbon barrels filled in 2006 - only a year after production began at the distillery, and the same vintage as the first Daftmill Summer/Winter releases and single cask bottlings that electrified the whisky world in 2018-19.
Daftmill was growing Chariot barley at the time, although they have subsequently switched to other barley varieties including Optic and Concerto. These 2006 vintage casks represent a hefty chunk of the oldest whisky remaining at Daftmill, whose tiny production capacity and seasonal operation schedule mean the distillery sometimes fills only 100 casks of whisky in a year.
The 28 casks for Daftmill 15-year-old yielded 5340 bottles at a natural cask strength of 55.7%, and early reviews have been promising, with an 89-point score from our distinguished alumnus Angus MacRaild at Whiskyfun. It’s remarkable that this is the first proper age-statement release from Daftmill, a full 17 years since operations began at the distillery, and really emphasises Daftmill owner Francis Cuthbert’s dedication to his ‘when it’s ready’ philosophy.
Daftmill 15-year-old Cask Strength will be on our virtual shelves in the very near future, but sadly allocations are necessarily small and we won’t have enough for everyone who wants one - so access will be limited to our VIP Members (Full details to follow, so make sure you’ve signed up to our mailing list and keep an eye on your inbox).
In the meantime, here’s some tasting notes for Daftmill 15-year-old Cask Strength from Daftmill maniac Jonny McMillan of Berry Bros & Rudd:
A welcome return to the 2006 vintage, of which the first Daftmill Summer/Winter was drawn from, these are some of Daftmill’s oldest casks bar a handful from December 2005.
The character is familiar to the Summer 2006 release but with all the hallmarks of well matured Lowland whisky; the nose offers freshly baked apple sponge, spiced vanilla custard suggesting quality first fill ex-bourbon barrels, but the real weight comes from light green fruits and malty notes shining through from the distillate.
This theme continues on the palate with a perfect balance of oak and distillate; desiccated coconut, warm gorse flower, lemon zest and beeswax mingle before a further burst of citrus on the back palate.
A mouth-watering finish shows oak spice, the merest whiff of malty wood smoke and a final suggestion of stewed peaches. A classy, self-possessed dram, well worthy of joining the ranks of distillery-defining, iconic 15-year-old releases from Scotland’s stalwart distilleries; Laphroaig, Glendronach and dare I say… Rosebank.
Watch this space, as the arrival of Daftmill 15-year-old is going to be one of the whisky events of the year.