【Review】Shizuoka Pot Still W Pure Foreign Barley First Edition

This is the second in the W series, consisting of the original spirit from the wood-fired direct distiller W, the successor to Shizuoka Distillery’s latest release, Prologue W, which was released in 2021. 100% foreign barley is used.

70% of the malt used was Scottish malt. Peated malt and is the first smoky type single malt for the Shizuoka distillery. The remaining 20% is made with non-pit malt from Scotland and 10% with malt for German beer (Pilsner), giving the beer a deeper and more expansive flavor.

We would like to compare it with Prologue W and Pot Still K, which is 100% Japanese barley.

 

This release is limited to a domestic sales quantity of 5,000 bottles. The suggested retail price is 9,845 yen (including tax), which seems much lower than Pot Still K, perhaps due to the difference in the barley used as ingredients.

1. Manufacturer

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 distiller was moved from the Karuizawa distillery, which had regrettably closed, to the Shizuoka distillery, where it was repaired and refurbished, and the legendary distiller was restored. The distiller’s graceful silhouette and the indirect heating of steam produce light and floral tasting sake.

In the left foreground of the photo below is the W, probably the only “wood-fired direct distiller” in the world, made by Forsyth in Scotland.
This time, Prologue W is made from the original spirit distilled by this distiller. The very characteristic of direct-fired distillation is temperature. While the temperature for general indirect-heat distillation is around 150°C, the wood-fired direct distillation at Shizuoka Distillery is 800°C, which allows the distiller to produce a strong and aromatic 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 andMercian Karuizawa 15 Year Old Sherry Barrel Malt Mas ters.

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 some of the Shizuoka Distillery’s original sake and other products (for a fee). The Shizuoka distillery also imports and sells whiskey, including the Indian whiskey ” Amrut ” and the Scottish bottlers “Black Adder” and “Astamoris”.

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

3. product names and photos

Single Malt Japanese Whisky Shizuoka Pot Still W Pure Foreign Barley First Edition

Single Malt Japanese Whisky Shizuoka Pot Still W 100% Imported Barley First Edition

4. characteristics

100% foreign barley, the first smoky flavor from Shizuoka Distillery

This single malt whiskey is made from 100% foreign barley malt. It was created from a concept that contrasts with “Shizuoka Pot Still K Pure Japanese Barley First Edition,” which is made with 100% Japanese barley malt.

 

Currently, most Japanese whiskey made in Japan is made from 100% foreign barley. The fact that the product name “pure foreign barley” is a first in Japan is unprecedented.
This is a new challenge for Shizuoka Distillery, which makes whiskey while increasing the percentage of barley produced in Japan. We always indicate the origin of the barley and value the advantages of each barley to deliver a whisky rich in terroir.
Although we use foreign ingredients, our “Japanese whiskey” meets the standards for Japanese whiskey set by the Japan Western Whiskey Brewers Association. (The standards do not stipulate anything about the origin of the ingredients.)

70% of the malt used was Scottish peated malt, making this the first smoky single malt from the Shizuoka distillery. Peated malt is a malt fumigated by burning Scottish peat, which produces a whisky with a strong character and a distinctive smoky flavor.
The remaining 20% of the ingredients are non-pitted malt from Scotland and 10% are malt for beer (Pilsner) from Germany to create additional depth and breadth of flavor.

 

Reference: GAIAFLOW BLOG

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaHoney, toast, and a mild peat aroma later.
TasteMalty, biscuit, caramel, smoked nuts
AftertasteMalty sweetness and gentle peat lingers on the palate for a long time.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol Content55.5% alcohol by volume
By SakeSingle Malt Japanese Whiskey
Cask typeBourbon barrels, new American oak barrels
Volume700ml
Number of bottles soldLimited to 5,000 bottles
Suggested retail price9,845 yen (tax included)
Release dateMid-August 2022

5. Awards

No awards have been received at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price

Product nameSingle Malt Japanese Whiskey Shizuoka Pot Still W Pure Foreign Barley First Edition
Capacity700ml
Suggested Retail Price9,845 yen (including tax)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is Around 19,000 yen to 26,000 yen The resale price on Mercari is (*As of 8/26/2022)

6-3. Sold price on Yahoo! Auction

The winning bid on Yahoo! Auctions was Lowest 15,600 yen, highest 27,000 yen, average 21,235 yen (*Statistics for the past 180 days from 8/26/2022)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

The product does not appear to be currently available on mail-order sites. (*As of 8/26/2022)

6-5.Prices offered at BAR Shinkai

At “BAR Shinkai” operated by this site, we 1 glass, 45 ml: 3,630 yen, 30 ml: 2,420 yen, 15 ml: 1,210 yen We also offer small quantities such as.

7. Summary

The most distinctive feature of Pot Still W is that it uses 100% foreign barley malt as its ingredient malt. Up until now, whiskies released by Shizuoka Distillery have contained a high percentage of Japanese barley, and there has been a commitment to the terroir of Shizuoka Distillery.
This is the first time that Shizuoka Distillery has attempted to use no Japanese barley at all in their whiskey.

 

Please check out our other articles on 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
¥1,320
(2022/09/25 13:57:54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
¥1,051
(2022/09/25 11:13:35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
repicbook(リピックブック)株式会社
¥1,870
(2022/09/25 13:28:40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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