THURSDAY MAY 12TH 19:15 2022
Daftmill is a family farm situated in the Howe of Fife. Our main enterprises are growing cereals, mainly malting barley, rearing beef cattle and growing potatoes. The farm also produces carrots and broccoli.
In June 2003 we applied for planning permission to convert the old mill buildings into a distillery. It took most of 2004 and 2005 to repair the buildings and install all the equipment. By St Andrews day 2005 when we received our licence from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs we were ready to start distilling.
Other than the Stills and the mash tun which came from coppersmiths Forsyths in Rothes all the other equipment and work to convert the buildings and create the distillery was supplied by local craftsmen from around the Cupar area.
In the distillery we use the barley that we grow on the farm and water from our own artesian well to make our whisky.
The distillery operates in harmony with the farm. The farm grows the barley then after it is mashed in the spent grains or draff provide a nutritious protein rich feed for the cattle. The pot ale and spentlees , that’s the left overs from the distillation are stored in a large tank on the farm then sprayed onto the grass or barley stubble as a fertiliser. The warm water that has been used to cool the stills is either kept to be used for the next mash or it is pumped into the duck pond where any heat is lost. It also helps stop the pond from freezing over in the Winter.
The distillery has to operate on a seasonal basis around the farming calendar. During the winter months when things are not so busy on the farm we make whisky but by spring time we need to get the barley sown, potatoes planted and cattle out to grass so the distillery falls silent. In mid-summer there is a lull farm work again and we distil in June and July before shutting down again for harvest time. Operating like this was once the norm but has not been seen in Scotland for the last 100 years.
Murray McDavid was established by London wine merchants Mark Reynier, Simon Coughlin and Springbank Distillery’s Gordon Wright. They quickly gained a reputation for maturing whisky in interesting casks, especially in fine wine casks. In 2000, the Murray McDavid team set about reopening the closed Bruichladdich Distillery on Islay, engaging the services of Jim McEwan, Islay’s most celebrated Master Distiller.
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