Daftmill is a family farm situated in the Howe of Fife. Their main enterprises are growing cereals, mainly malting barley, rearing beef cattle and growing potatoes. The farm also produces carrots and broccoli.
In June 2003 they 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 they received their licence from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs they 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 they use the barley that they grow on the farm and water from their 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 they make whisky but by spring time they 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 in the farm work, and they distill 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.