About this SPIRIT
Six generations of the Cuthbert family have grown malting barley in Fife, alongside their crop of potatoes and herd of beef cattle; but in 2005 brothers Francis and Ian started work to convert the old mill buildings into a micro-distillery. One of just nine distilleries in the Lowlands, Daftmill didn’t release a single bottle until 2018 – despite having over 10 years’ worth of stock. It didn’t release a single bottle until 2018. It produces just 100 casks a year and ages its single malt whiskies for 10 years or more.
Daftmill is a true farm distillery. All the barley used for production is farmed by Francis Cuthbert on the estate, while the water comes from the property’s own natural spring. The whisky is all distilled by Francis in the farm’s off-season – for just two months in summer and two months in winter. This is a very traditional way of running a distillery that hasn’t been seen in Scotland since the 1800s.
The name Daftmill comes from the seemingly “daft” burn (or stream) on the property that appears to run uphill; over time the mill on said stream took on its name, becoming known as “Daft Mill”.
Lowland whiskies come from the area north of the English border, and south of a line drawn between Greenock in the west, and Dundee in the east. Traditionally they have been the source of a lot of the whisky to be used for blends, as such the style is much lighter than other regions, with little or no peat. By the late 19th centaury almost the entire production of the Lowland distilleries went for blending
The growth in popularity and power of the Highland and Speyside distilleries, has been matched by a fall from favour for Lowland producers, to such an extent that today there are only three left in production. By far and away the two biggest whisky distilleries are Auchentoshan and Glenkinchie. The third being Bladnoch, which is also, the most southerly distillery of all.
Auchentoshan Distillery is on the northern edge of Glasgow and was founded in 1800. It has a light, cereal and citrus nose and a clean, dry finish. Glenkinchie Distillery is located at Pencaitland, just outside Edinburgh. Typical of Lowland malt whiskies: fragrant and reserved, with a clean, fresh flavour.
There are some silent stills, whose whiskies are still found from time to time. Rosebank is quite often seen and was generally considered to be the best Lowland malt. Occasionally, but more rarely seen are St.Magdalene from Linlithgow, Littlemill from Bowling Dumbartonshire and Ladyburn, which was housed inside William Grants grain distillery at Girvan on the Ayrshire coast.