[Review] Single Malt Shizuoka 4 Years for CLAUDE WHISKY

The Gaiaflow Shizuoka Distillery began producing whisky in October 2016. Applications for the 2017 private casks began in December, shortly after operations began.
The first private cask as Shizuoka Distillery, distilled – aged in 2017, is now available for sale as private bottles from various liquor stores from spring 2021 onward.

In March 2022, a Gaia Flow x CLAUDE WHISKY private bottles of the new product were released.

Distilled from non-peat malt in pot stills K and W, aged in EX bourbon barrels for at least 4 years, and bottled at cask strength. The number of bottles sold is 219 bottles.

1. Maker.

Gaia Flow Distilling Co.

Established October 8, 2014
Head office location 555 Ochiai, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture, 421-2223, Japan
Owned distilleryGaiaflow Shizuoka Distillery

2. Distillery

Gaiaflow Shizuoka Distillery

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

Established Gaiaflow Distilling Co. on October 8, 2014.
Construction of Gaiaflow Shizuoka Distillery completed on August 9, 2016.
In the same year, whiskey production started on October 28.
The distillery is located in the Tamagawa district of the Occidental area of Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture, on the banks of the Abe Nakakawachi River, a tributary of the Abe River, a first-class river.
Surrounded by beautiful 400-meter-high mountains at an elevation of around 200 meters, the temperature is always 2 to 3 degrees cooler than in the city center, making it a truly desirable location.
The building was designed with the theme of fusion of Japanese beauty and Western culture, and in collaboration with Derek Baston, an American architect living in Shizuoka, the interior and exterior of the whisky distillery are made of many Shizuoka woods, which are beautiful to the eye.

Shizuoka Distillery operates two first distillation machines called “K” and “W” . K is the historic Karuizawa distiller, which was manufactured in Japan in the 1950s. In November 2011, the legendary distillation machine was moved from the Karuizawa distillery, which had regrettably closed, to the Shizuoka distillery, where it was repaired and refurbished, and the legendary distillation machine was restored. The distiller’s graceful silhouette and the indirect heating of steam produce light and floral tasting sake.

The left foreground in the photo below is the W, probably the only “wood-fired direct distillation machine” in the world, made by Forsyth in Scotland.
The very characteristic of direct-fired distillation is temperature. While the temperature for general indirect-heat distillation is around 150°C, the wood-fired distillation at Shizuoka Distillery is 800°C, which allows the distiller to produce a fragrant and powerful type of malt spirit.

The fermentation tanks are wooden vats made of locally grown Shizuoka cedar. Shizuoka City is known for its forestry industry, and they chose to use locally grown cedar in the hope of creating a whisky that is uniquely Shizuoka.
The malt mill used to grind malt (barley malt), which is the raw material for whiskey, has been moved from the Karuizawa distillery and is used in the same way as the “K” distillation machine.

Incidentally, a fantastic whisky that was made at the Mercian Karuizawa distillery, but never commercialized, was purchased by a British company and bottled in 2013 as “Karuizawa 1960. It was sold for 2 million yen. It then sold for about 14 million yen at a Scottish auction in 2017. It is now clear that Japanese whiskey is at the top of the target list for whiskey collectors around the world.

Whiskies Mercian was selling at the time included Karuizawa 8 Year Old 100% Malt Whisky and Mercian Karuizawa 15 Year Old Sherry Barrel Malt Masters.

Shizuoka has a warmer climate than Scotland, and the design dares to create a difference in temperature by installing windows in the ceiling of the cellar for lighting. Because of this, the original sake being aged in the cellar is expected to evaporate at least 5% per year at Angel’s Share.

At the distillery, there is a tasting corner where visitors can sample (for a fee) the Shizuoka Distillery’s original sake and the first “Single Malt Prologue K”. The Shizuoka distillery also imports and sells whiskey, and you can sample the Indian whiskey ” Amrut ” and the Scottish bottlers “Black Adder” and “Astamoris”.

For more information about Gaiaflow Shizuoka Distillery, please click here↓.

3. Product name and photo

Single Malt Shizuoka 4 Years Old for CLAUDE WHISKY

 

[Review] Single Malt Shizuoka 4 Years for CLAUDE WHISKY

4. Characteristics

Shizuoka Distillery uses two first distillation stills, K (a distillation still transferred from Karuizawa Distillery) and W (a wood-fired distillation still), to produce two types of sake with different characteristics.
Each pot still is characterized by its own unique characteristics: the steam-heated K has a fruity aroma and light flavor, while the wood-fired W has a heavier flavor and a longer finish. It is bottled at cask strength.

62.It has a powerful, punchy mouthfeel and a fruity, floral character that opens up in line with its 8° alcohol content.

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaStrong cemedine. Green apple and other fruits open up.
TasteSlightly oily mouthfeel. Strong alcohol. Green apple sweetness and acidity. Spicy, white pepper-like taste.
AftertasteTingling on the tongue. Malty and cool lingering finish is rather short.

4-2. Product Specifications

Product name Single Malt Shizuoka 4 Years for CLAUDE WHISKY
Sake categorySingle malt Japanese whisky
IngredientsNon-peated malt
Cask TypeBourbon
Distillation DateNovember 27, 2017
Bottling DateMarch 16, 2022
Number of bottlings219 bottles
Number of degrees62.8% 
Content Volume700ml
Price16,500 yen (tax included)
ProducerGaiaflow Shizuoka Distillery

5. Awards

No awards received at this time.

Price

6-1. Suggested Retail Price

 

Product name Single Malt Shizuoka 4 Year Old for CLAUDE WHISKY
Capacity700ml
Suggested Retail Price16,500 yen (including tax)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

We have not been able to confirm the resale price on Mercari, but we can confirm the resale of private bottles by other liquor stores. (*As of April 15, 2022)

6-3. Yahoo Auction Sold Price

We have not been able to confirm the listing on Yahoo! Auctions, but we can confirm the resale of private bottles by other liquor stores. (As of April 15, 2022)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

We have not been able to confirm any listings on mail order websites. (*As of April 15, 2022)

6-5. Price offered at BAR Shinkai

BAR Shinkai, which is operated by this site. 1 glass, 45ml: 5,610 yen 30ml: 3,740 yen, 15ml: 1,870 yen We also offer it in small quantities such as.

7. Summary

Our first impression was that the high alcohol content was consistent with the enjoyable, robust alcohol taste. It is characterized by a fruity and spicy taste with a sourness that gradually opens up.

It can be enjoyed with soda or on the rocks, but straight or twice up is recommended. Especially when twisting it up, we hope you will find the sweet spot and enjoy it slowly.

Gaia flow Shizuoka Distillery is now accepting applications for cask owners by lottery. Why don’t you dream up your own special bottle and apply for it?

Please check out our other articles on Shizuoka Private Bottle and 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

(2). Japanese Whiskey 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 whiskey, as well as his companion, Rita.

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

Launching in 2019. With the world experiencing an unprecedented whiskey 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 Whiskey, famous for his Ichirose Malt, who inspired the birth of craft distilleries in Japan.

(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 whiskey can be found.

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