2007 Daftmill “Winter Batch Release” — A Must-Have, Limited Production Single Malt – Scotch Whisky News

Experience Scotch Single Malt As It Was Made Centuries Ago
2007 Daftmill “Winter Batch Release” Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($249.99)
“The complexity here is astounding…” — Andrew Whiteley, K&L NorCal Spirits Buyer

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The 2007 Daftmill “Winter Batch Release” Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky is only the second release to hit the States from this innovative distillery out of the Howe of Fife. Innovative perhaps isn’t the right word, as distillers Ian and Francis Cuthbert are committed to doing things the old-school way. And when we say old school, we mean over 100 years ago. The grains for this compelling single malt are all produced on-site—a practice that was abandoned long ago. When the team isn’t farming, they are distilling, which translates into only two releases per year: Summer and Winter. This 12 Year edition shows that Scotland’s earliest distillers were onto something. Mind-bogglingly complex and supremely delicious, this is single malt in its most pure and honest form. As you might expect, production is very limited, with only 1680 bottles produced in this run. If this isn’t one of Scotland’s most exciting projects, it is undoubtedly in the running. This is a perfect opportunity to taste Scotch how it used to be—and what an experience it is. The 2006 Summer Release flew off of our shelves, and we expect no different here, so act quickly to add this singular expression to your collection.

2007 Daftmill “Winter Batch Release” Lowland Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($249.99)

The incredible follow up to the special 2006 Summer Release is here. This true farm distillery—all the barley for distillation is produced on-site—is a labor of love by Ian and Francis Cuthbert. Located in the Howe of Fife, they’ve created a distillery that operates in complete harmony with the farm. Spent lees and pot ale go back onto the fields as fertilizer for the next season’s cereals for instance. The distillery itself is operated on a seasonal basis and is dictated by the farming calendar. In the summer lull in June and July the stills are in operation. When harvest comes, they shut back down. In the winter months when things are again not as busy on the farm, distillation fires up before spring planting requires the family’s attention again. It is the 2007 winter distilling season when this batch was produced. This natural pattern of local farm/distilling production was once the norm but hasn’t been seen in Scotland for over 100 years before being revived by the Cuthberts. As for the whisky in the winter batch, it is, in a word, extraordinary. The complexity of flavor is unmatched by any similarly aged whisky in the world. Only 1680 bottles produced.

Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 05, 2021

The complexity here is astounding after just 12 years. Six first fill bourbon barrels of the highest quality make up this bottling. The purity of vanilla and stone fruit on the nose is beguiling. It’s hard to fathom how broad the spectrum of cereal flavors is that can come from just malted barley and American oak, but here it is: you’ve got brown sugar-covered oats, toasty malt, the hint of sweet corn, the flashy spice of rye, all in one neat dram of single malt. Things get even more remarkable when you taste it. The palate is all encompassing. It jumps from sweet cinnamon and nutmeg into more peppery allspice and mace. The very fruity development is perfectly complemented by the big vanilla notes of the bourbon barrels. The richness of flavor of heavy whipping cream contrasts the brightness and lively cut the spirit has at 46% ABV, but it’s endlessly drinkable as is. A dab of water certainly doesn’t hurt things though, it brings out even more fruit and sweet cereal notes. When you take into account the amount of work and attention to detail that went into this bottle, it’s no surprise that it tastes so good. When you check yourself and remember that it’s only 12 years old, it’s hard to not be shocked. Upon realizing it’s only the 2nd release from Daftmill to hit the United States and there are less than 2000 bottles to be had, you’ll have to rush to get a 2nd bottle before they’re all snapped up by collectors and hedonists alike.

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