[November 2023 release]Shizuoka Distillery Reserve 100% Shizuoka Barley ex-Bourbon Barrel 5 years

New Release
New Release
Shizuoka Distillery

A press release on Gaiaflow’s official website announces the release of the “first 100% Shizuoka Prefecture-produced barley whiskey” in the form that Gaiaflow Shizuoka Distillery had been aiming for, in late November 2023!

The previous release had called for “pure domestic barley,” but this time the bottle is firmly labeled as “Shizuoka Prefecture-produced.
This time, however, it is clearly labeled as “Shizuoka Prefecture-grown.” This release is closer to the flavor and taste that we wanted to present, so to speak.
However, there has been a series of disturbances in the owner’s casks, so we would like to see them clean up their image here.


1.Gaia Flow Single Malt Japanese Whisky Shizuoka Private Cask Distillery Reserve 100% Shizuoka Barley ex-Bourbon Barrel 5 Years Old

Suggested Retail Price22,011 yen (tax included)
Alcohol contentUndecided (to be announced on each social networking site at the time of bottling)
Number of bottles soldUndecided (to be announced on social networking sites at the time of bottling)
Yeast usedNMZ-0688
Casks used

EX Bourbon Barrels

A single cask whiskey made from 100% barley harvested in 2016, this is the first whiskey made from 100% Shizuoka Prefecture barley after 5 years of maturation.

This time, as part of the private cask program, Shizuoka Distillery will be releasing a specially owned cask as a “Distillery Reserve”, single cask (the original spirit in one cask) and cask strength (the alcohol content out of the cask). The label also features the official Shizuoka Private Cask label.

This will be the first official release from the Shizuoka distillery to be aged 5 years; it will be distilled in 2018 and bottled in November, when it will reach the 5-year ageing mark, so the alcohol content and number of bottles released will be measured at the time of bottling and are undetermined at this time. We will announce the sales method on our official website and SNS in the future.

New Product] “Shizuoka Private Cask Distillery Reserve 100% Shizuoka Barley ex-Bourbon Barrel 5 Years Old” will be released | GAIAFLOW NEWS

2.All Shizuoka Whiskey

Shizuoka Distillery is working on an “All-Shizuoka Whisky” project that embodies the distillery’s commitment to the terroir, and all the ingredients used to make the whisky are “Shizuoka-grown”.

100% Shizuoka Barley
Starting in 2016 with barley grown and harvested on a trial basis in Katsurayama and Fujinomiya in the Tamagawa area near the distillery, we began full-scale cultivation in 2019 in collaboration with three farmers in the neighboring city of Yaizu, JA Oigawa, and Shizuoka Prefecture. The area planted is increasing every year, and the harvest is also increasing.
Distillation with the “W” distillation machine using local wood as the heat source
The “W” distillation machine, which uses a wood-burning fire as its heat source, is fueled by thinned wood from nearby mountains, such as Japanese cedar, which is a rare occurrence in the world, and is a result of forest management.
Using subsoil water from the Abe Nakakawachi River for brewing
Water from the Abe-Nakakakawachi River, which flows near the Shizuoka Distillery, is pumped from a well on the premises.
Use of NMZ-0688, a yeast developed in Shizuoka Prefecture
Developed by the Numazu Industrial Technology Support Center, which developed Shizuoka yeast, a sake yeast for Japanese sake, for fermentation of malt for whiskey and beer.
Fermentation tank made of locally grown Japanese cedar
The fermentation tanks made of locally grown Japanese cedar are used to brew high quality malt.

The “100% Shizuoka Barley” to be released this time appears to be the first product born from this project.

However, since not only Shizuoka yeast but also imported yeast was used in the brewing of this original whiskey, it does not bear the “All-Shizuoka” label, but the distillery plans to release an “All-Shizuoka Whiskey” in the future.

2.About Shizuoka Distillery

Gaiaflow Distilling Co., Ltd. was established in 2014 to produce whiskey. Group company Gaiaflow K.K. also imports and sells whiskey.

Company NameGaia Flow Distilling Co.
EstablishedOctober 8, 2014
Head office location555 Ochiai, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture, 421-2223, Japan
Owned distillery

Gaiaflow Shizuoka Distillery

October 8, 2014 Gaiaflow Distilling Co. established
Gaiaflow Shizuoka Distillery was 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 with extensive use of Shizuoka wood, making it a beautiful looking distillery.

Shizuoka Distillery operates two first distillation machines named “K” and “W.” K is the historic Karuizawa distillation machine manufactured in Japan in the 1950s, and was moved to Shizuoka Distillery from Karuizawa distillery, which regrettably closed in November 2011, and the legendary machine was restored after repairs and renovations. Its graceful silhouette and the indirect heating of steam produce a light and floral tasting distilled spirit.


The left foreground in the photo below is the W, probably the only “wood-fired direct distillation machine” in the world, made by Forsyths of 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 can produce a savory and powerful type of malt base spirit.

For the fermentation tank, wooden vats made of local Shizuoka cedar are used. 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, is also a historical machine that was used at the Karuizawa distillery and has been moved to the same location as the “K” distillation machine.

Incidentally, a certain British company bought a bottle of whisky produced at the Mercian Karuizawa distillery that had been sitting in storage without being commercialized, and bottled it in 2013 and sold it as “Karuizawa 1960” for 2 million yen. It was then sold at auction in Scotland in 2017 for about 14 million yen. It is now clear that Japanese whiskey is at the top of the target list for whiskey collectors around the world.
Whiskies sold by Mercian at the time included Karuizawa 8 Year Old 100% Malt Whisky andMercian 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 in the angel’s share.

The distillery has a tasting corner where visitors can sample Shizuoka Distillery’s original sake and other products (for a fee). Shizuoka Distillery also imports and sells whiskey, and you can sample the Indian whiskey ” Amrut ” and Scottish bottlers “Black Adder” and “Astamoris”.

For information on other distilleries, please visit

3.Release information so far

3-1 Shizuoka Pot Still W Pure Japanese Barley First Edition

3-2 Shizuoka Pot Still K Pure Foreign Barley First Edition

3-3 Single Malt Japanese Whiskey Shizuoka United S First Edition

3-4 Shizuoka Pot Still W Pure Foreign Barley First Edition

3-5 Gaia Flow Whiskey Blended M

Ryuhei Oishi

Bartender at bar Shinkai Toranomon, born in Hokkaido.
After working at a restaurant in Tokyo, became a certified sommelier by the Japan Sommelier Association.
I became interested in Japanese whiskey, of which he had little knowledge, and started working at bar Shinkai. I went to distilleries to talk to the distillers and joined JWD to share their passion and information as a bartender.

Ryuhei Oishiをフォローする
Japanese Whisky Dictionary