Daftmill 2006 Winter Release


The way we consume has changed. For better or worse? Well that’s your call.

Long gone are the days of youth, when walking 4 miles to train station in order to go buy some records or sneakers was just what we (I) did. 

There was a pride in having the knowledge and subjective taste about products that were a little bit different.

Now we live in a world of online experiential retail.

There is a place for both and I’m an avid online consumer, from my house deep in the countryside I can keep up with fashionable society, order pretty much anything I want and manage to miss the delivery…

As I age, I miss the old days. 

Target driven, experiential retail is great and the future, I marvel at the technological advances and some of the customer service in luxury stores is exceptional. 

But and it’s a big but, it’s no patch on the feeling you got when you first walked into a proper store.

The music was right, the smell was right, the staff were pleasingly arrogant and rude – something which made you work harder for recognition, oh and they looked so sharp that you didn’t realise then that you would spend the next 15 years trying and failing to be one of the cool kids. 

Now, I can see you probably think this has nothing to do with whisky and to an extent you are right and wrong.

Because one of the symptoms of this new found access to anything is that it has become perversely trickier to get certain things. The walk and train journey has now been replaced by the online queue and purchase bots, or for those with a Surrey drum, the Berwick Street Thursday camp out. 

Given my 15 years of trying to be one of the cool kids, I can occasionally circumvent this and get my mitts on the goods before they become reseller fodder.

So this in many ways is the Palace x Ralph Lauren of the whisky world.

It’s from Daftmill, which manages to be a great name and apt description of what happens if you neck the bottle.

Don’t do it though, because, I’ve seen more of our chicken’s teeth.

Fortune favoured me and I was one of the lucky few to purchase through Berry’s, one of London’s oldest retail companies and in many respects one of the most forward thinking.

Whilst I sentimentally miss being able to just pop into 3 St James’ Street, ignore the naysayers, 63 Pall Mall is very good and echoes the website in lacking pretension and being easy to navigate.

Although in London most days, having a case delivered out here to the sticks, knowing it beats the supermarket on quality & value is one of life’s simplest pleasures. 

Oh & their sublimely simple, mystery boxes, I keep meaning to talk about those, for some reason they just don’t seem to last round here…

So this whisky, Daftmill 2006 Winter Release, the third Daftmill release to be made not so widely available.

Daftmill is operated by the Cuthbert Family in the Kingdom of Fife, and is a true small scale craft distiller. Normally I’m a bit funny about small drinks’ companies, as there just isn’t the scale required to produce a consistent product, this is the exception. 

The hype is real and justified. There is no fancy marketing campaign, just the old fashioned wonder of an interesting back story and an even better product.

This particular release has sat contemplating life in bourbon barrels since December 2006, in which time it’s become something akin to a boozy mid winter’s brunch. A lowland single malt packed full of stewed fruit, followed by pancakes with maple syrup. Our official PA drinks’ tester, who normally skips whisky was a fan, until realising there was only the one bottle.  

In some ways that’s the gift and the curse, supermarket scotch this is not, but the price feels fair, it reflects the time spent and the quality of the product. A special occasions thing, that said, good luck finding some more.

Which is really all you need to know. This stuff is like gold dust, yet it’s not ostentatious drinks’ cabinet filler, this is an in the know, aficionado’s tipple. One which manages to be highly polished and niche, which given the size of the distillery is extraordinary. 

Just wish I could buy some more.