Among the wave of newcomers in the Scotch whisky industry, a great deal of hype continues to surround the elusive and enigmatic Daftmill Distillery. From the 13 year wait for its inaugural release in 2018, to the forgotten traditional style of production, the farm distillery has garnered an almost cult-like following of whisky lovers around the world. So, when a group of us at The W Club were invited to visit Daftmill and hand-select a single cask, we couldn’t quite believe our luck. It’s not everyday that the distillery opens up its doors to the public, so we knew that we were in for something quite special.
The founders of Daftmill Distillery are brothers Francis and Ian Cuthbert, both sixth-generation farmers here in the beautiful Howe of Fife. The farm has been here for 1000 years, and the Cuthbert family reckon that they’re only third family to own it within that time. The farm has beef cattle, vegetable plots, and plenty of barley - most of which is regularly sold to the Edrington group for the likes of Macallan and Highland Park. It wasn’t until the new millennium that the idea of keeping some of the barley to make Daftmill’s own whisky became a viable commercial project. In 2003, the Cuthberts converted three of their buildings into a distillery, and were granted their licence to distill in 2005. It was great timing, as the global rise in demand for whisky was about to cause the biggest industry boom in decades.