[Review] Gaia Flow Whiskey Blended M

In February 2022, the Shizuoka Distillery’s first blended whiskey, Gaia Flow Whiskey Blended M, was released.

The number of units sold The first shipment was 5,555 bottles. Of which 100 bottles were sold by lottery for the first time. but they will be sold regularly throughout the year as a standard item.

1. Manufacturer

Gaia Flow Distilling Co.

Established October 8, 2014
Head office location 555 Ochiai, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka-shi, Shizuoka 421-2223, Japan
Owned distilleryGaia Flow Shizuoka Distillery

2. Distillery

Gaia Flow Shizuoka Distillery

Location 555 Ochiai, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture 421-2223, Japan
Start of operation 2016

Established Gaia Flow Distilling, Inc. on October 8, 2014.
Completed construction of Gaia Flow Shizuoka Distillery on August 9, 2016.
On October 28, the same year, we started whiskey production.
The distillery is located in the Tamagawa district of Okies (Oku-Shizuoka area) in Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture, and stands by the Abe Nakakochi River, a tributary of the first-class Abe River.
With an elevation of around 200 meters and surrounded by beautiful 400-meter mountains, the temperature is always two to three degrees cooler than the city, making it a perfect location.
The building was designed based on the theme of fusing Japanese beauty with Western culture, and is a visually beautiful whiskey distillery that uses a lot of Shizuoka wood for the interior and exterior in collaboration with Derek Baston, an American architect living in Shizuoka.

The Shizuoka distillery has two first distillation units running, called “K” and “W”. In November 2011, it was moved from the Karuizawa Distillery, which was regrettably closed, to the Shizuoka Distillery, where it was repaired and refurbished, and the legendary distiller was revived. With its graceful and flexible silhouette and the indirect heating of steam, the distillery produces a light and gorgeous flavored raw spirit.

In the photo below, the front left is the W, which is probably the world’s only “wood-fired direct distillation machine” made by Forsyth in Scotland.
This time, Prologue W is made from the raw spirit distilled in this distiller. The characteristic of direct-fired distillation is exactly the temperature. In general, the temperature for indirect heat distillation is around 150 degrees Celsius, but the wood-fired direct distillation at Shizuoka Distillery is 800 degrees Celsius, which can produce a savory and powerful type of malt liquor.

The fermentation tanks are made of wooden vats made of local Shizuoka cedar. Shizuoka City is known for its forestry industry, and they chose to use local cedar in order to make use of this characteristic to create a whiskey that is uniquely Shizuoka.
The malt mill used to grind malt, the raw material for whiskey, is a relocated machine from the Karuizawa distillery, as is the distiller “K”.

By the way, a fantastic whisky that was made at the Mercian Karuizawa distillery and was lying in storage without being commercialized was bought by a British company and bottled in 2013 as “Karuizawa 1960” . It was sold for 2 million yen. It was then sold for about 14 million yen at a Scottish auction in 2017. It is now clear that Japanese whisky is at the top of the target list for whisky collectors around the world.

The whiskies Mercian was selling at the time included Karuizawa Storage 8 Year 100% Malt Whisky and Mercian Karuizawa 15 Year Sherry Cask Malt Masters.

Shizuoka has a warmer climate than Scotland, and the ceiling of the storage room is designed with windows for lighting, daring to create a difference in temperature. Because of this, the original wine being matured in the storage room is expected to evaporate more than 5% per year in angel’s share.

The distillery has a tasting corner where you can taste the Shizuoka Distillery’s raw spirits and the first batch of Single Malt Prologue K (for a fee). The Shizuoka Distillery also imports and sells whisky, and you can sample Indian whisky “Amrut” and Scottish bottlers “Black Adder” and “Astamoris” .

For more information on Gaia Flow Shizuoka Distillery, please also see here↓ 

3. Product names and photos

Gaia Flow Whiskey Blended M

4. Characteristics

Shizuoka malt aged for more than three years is blended with English malt and grain to create an elaborate blend. The result is a unique Gaia Flow blend that balances the delicate and smooth taste of Shizuoka malt with the powerful English malt and mellow grain.

The alcohol content is adjusted to 48% using natural Shizuoka water, which is suitable for a variety of drinking styles, and the bottling is done at the Shizuoka distillery.

Quote: Gaia Flow Blog|Gaia Flow Whiskey Blended M

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaCitrus, honey, banana.
TasteStrong maltiness, banana, citrus, spicy, soft and sweet.
AftertasteMalt flavor, creamy sweetness followed by spiciness.

4-2. Product Specifications

Product nameGaia Flow Whiskey Blended M
ClassificationBlended whiskey
IngredientsNon-peated malt from Japan Malt from England Grain from England
Number of bottles soldInitial sales: 5,555 bottles
Number of bottles48 percent
Price3,600 yen (tax included: 3,960 yen)

5. Awards

There are no awards at this time.

6. Price

6-1 Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Product nameGaia Flow Whiskey Blended M
Suggested retail price3,600 yen (tax included: 3,960 yen)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

Resale price on Mercari is per bottle Around 7,000 yen to 10,000 yen per bottle. (*as of February 26, 2022)

6-3. Yahoo Auction Sold Price

Sold price on Yahoo Auction is Lowest bidder: 7,500 yen, Highest bidder: 16,740 yen, Average bidder: 12,419 yen

(*Statistics for the past 180 days from February 26, 2022)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

Sales on mail order sites have not been confirmed at this time. (*As of February 26, 2022)

6-5. Price offered at BAR SHINKAI

At “Bar Shinkai” which is operated by this website, we 1 glass, 45ml: 1,650 yen, 30ml: 1,100 yen, 15ml: 550 yen We also offer it in small quantities such as.

7. Summary

As mentioned earlier, “Blended M” will be sold regularly throughout the year as a standard item.

It is very reasonably priced and the number of units sold is expected to increase in the future. The malt flavor is stronger than I expected, and it is a bottle with a high degree of perfection. As the demand for home drinking increases due to the Corona disaster, I think this bottle will become a very must-have item.

It can be drunk straight, on the rocks, iced up, with water, or with soda. This is a whiskey that you should always have a bottle of at home.

■ Please check out the other articles about Shizuoka Distillery.

Lastly: Recommended Books on Japanese Whisky

If you want to learn more about Japanese whisky, which is a global trend, we highly recommend these books.

(1).Whisky Galore Vol.29 December 2021 issue

In the December 2021 issue of Whisky Galore, published by the Whisky Culture Research Institute, we report on 11 Japanese craft distilleries, including some that are open to the public for the first time, under the title of “Japanese Whisky Craft Frontline,” the first of three consecutive issues. Why did the popularity of Japanese whiskey and the craft boom occur? We will examine with interviews. Chichibu Distillery / Chichibu No.2 Distillery / Mars Shinshu Distillery / Mars Tsunuki Distillery / Kanosuke Distillery / Hioki Distillery / Ontake Distillery / Osuzuyama Distillery / Kaikyo Distillery / Hanyu Distillery / Konosu Distillery

created by Rinker
(2023/02/07 17:30:22時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

(2). Japanese Whisky as an Education for Business

This is a book written by Mamoru Tsuchiya, a world-famous whisky critic and representative of the Whisky Culture Research Institute, titled “Japanese Whisky as a Culture that Works for Business” .
The book covers the basics of whisky, the introduction of whisky to Japan, the birth of Japanese whisky, advertising strategies and the rise of Japanese whisky, and the current rise of craft distilleries. This is a book that summarizes Japanese whisky in a very easy to understand way.

(3). Whisky and I (Masataka Taketsuru)

Masataka Taketsuru, the founder of Nikka Whisky, devoted his life to brewing whisky in Japan. This is a revised and reprinted version of the autobiography of a man who simply loved whiskey and talked about himself. The book vividly depicts the days when he went to Scotland alone to study as a young man and overcame many hardships to complete Japanese whisky, as well as his companion, Rita.

created by Rinker
(2023/02/07 18:34:02時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

(4). A Letter of Challenge from a New Generation Distillery

Launching in 2019. With the world experiencing an unprecedented whisky boom, what were the managers of craft distilleries thinking and what were their thoughts as they took on the challenge of making whiskey? This book tells the stories of 13 craft distillery owners, including Ichiro Hido of Venture Whisky, famous for his Ichirose Malt, who inspired the birth of craft distilleries in Japan.

created by Rinker
(2023/02/07 23:27:40時点 Amazon調べ-詳細)

(5). Whiskey Rising

This is the Japanese version of Whisky Risng, published in the US in 2016, with much updated content. Not only does it describe the history of Japanese whiskey in detail, but it also includes data on all the distilleries in Japan, including the craft distilleries that have been founded in recent years. The book also includes descriptions of the legendary bottles that have been released, as well as information on bars where Japanese whisky can be found.

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