[Review] Single Malt Whisky Ryuka NEW BORN 2023

Whisky Review
Whisky Review
Suzaki Distillery

Single malt whisky Ryuka NEW BORN 2023, newly released by Shinzato Shuzo and Suzaki Distillery. Features, price and how to purchase.

The Suzaki Distillery, operated by Shinzato Shuzo Co., Ltd. will begin distilling in May 2020. The first “Single Malt whisky Ryuka NEW BORN 2023” is now on sale.
It was aged for 1 year and 3 months in Oloroso sherry casks and 3 months in Spanish oak casks for a total of 1 year and 6 months. The aging process in the subtropical zone of Okinawa is very humid and the Angel’s Share is approximately 10%. The color of the whisky seems to be quite dark, and the flavor is very promising.


1. Who is Shinzato Shuzo Co.

The company that produces Ryuka NEW BORN 2023 single malt whisky, Shinzato Shuzo, is Okinawa’s oldest Awamori distillery, founded in 1846, and is looking forward to the future, having acquired a whisky production license in April 2020.

Company nameShinzato Shuzo Co.
Head Office12-17, Suzaki, Uruma City, Okinawa 904-2234, Japan
Owned distillerySuzaki distillery

What is Suzaki distillery?

The distillery where Ryuka NEW BORN 2023 single malt whisky is produced is the Suzaki Distillery located in Uruma City, Okinawa Prefecture.

Name of distillerySuzaki Distillery
Location12-17, Suzaki, Uruma City, Okinawa 904-2234, Japan
Start of operationApril 2020: Licensed to manufacture whisky

Shinzato Shuzo, Okinawa’s oldest Awamori distillery established in 1846, built the southernmost distillery in Japan.
Obtained whisky production license in April 2020; production to begin in May.
The ” Shinzato WHISKY ” currently on sale is a whisky made by blending overseas blended whisky with a few percent of the so-called “Awamori” spirits from the Shinzato Shuzo brewery, aged for 13 years in sherry casks.

NEW MAKE Shinzato, distilled in-house, will be released in April 2021. The limited run of 350 bottles sold out immediately.
The pot stills currently in use are used in combination with those used to distill Awamori. They currently have three pot stills. They are currently using three types of casks for maturation (specifics are unknown, but probably sherry and bourbon casks), and intend to sell it as whisky after three years of maturation. The company produces one batch of whisky every day. Official Instagram is here.

For more information on the Suzaki Distillery, see also this article.


3. photos of the bottles and the website where they can be purchased

Single Malt Whisky Ryuka NEW BORN 2023

Single Malt Whisky Ryuka New Born 2023

4.Characteristics of Ryuka NEW BORN 2023 single malt whisky

Single malt whisky matured in subtropical climate of Okinawa

Storage in the subtropical climate of Okinawa results in a higher angel’s share of 10% per year, but this allows for faster extraction of the oak components, and allows for short maturation to produce a whisky with a strong oak character. Although this Ryuka NWEBORN 2023 is also aged for only one year and six months, it is a whisky with a rich and complex flavor that is as good as long-aged whiskies.
Enjoy the aroma of raisins and other berry dried fruits, oranges, boiled jam, and dark chocolate derived from sherry casks, the spicy and exotic aroma derived from Spanish virgin oak casks, and the powerful, rich, and heavy flavor unique to the original whisky.

4-1. Tasting Notes

AromaLactic acidity, sourness of dried grapes and berries, elegant rose-like aroma
TasteRich jam, red fruits, chocolate, spicy
AftertasteSourness gives way to a pleasant sweetness that extends and expands.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content58% (with a slight alcohol content)
By SakeNewborn
Cask TypeOloroso sherry barrels, Spanish oak barrels
Content volume700ml
Number of bottles soldLimited quantity
Suggested Retail Price11,000 yen (tax included)
Release dateJune 9, 2023

5. Awards

No awards received at this time.

6. List price and online price

6-1. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price

Product nameSingle Malt whisky Ryuka NEW BORN 2023
Suggested Retail PriceTax included: 11,000 yen

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

Resale price on Mercari ranges from 11,700 yen to 12,500 yen. (As of July 5, 2023)

6-3. Sold price on Yahoo! Auctions

Thelowestbid on Yahoo! Auction was 7,750 yen , the highestbid was 7,750 yen, and the averagebid was 7,750 yen. (*Statistics for the past 180 days from 7/5/2023)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

Mail order sites also sell the product at around 11,000 yen. (as of July 5, 2023)


6-5. Prices offered at BAR Shinkai

At “BAR Shinkai” operated by this site, one glass is offered at 45 ml: 2,970 yen, 30 ml: 1,980 yen, and 15 ml: 990 yen.

Information about "BAR Shinkai"
Japanese Whisky Dictionary operates three BAR Shingai stores in Minato Ward, Tokyo. In addition to the Japanese whiskeys introduced on this site, they also handle domestic gin and beer. Original cocktails and fresh fruit cocktails are also popular. There is also a wide variety of food available for the first time.

7. Summary

The wine has a dark ruby color that makes it hard to believe that it has been aged for one year and six months. The aroma and taste are truly intense. The sweetness and astringency of Oloroso sherry’s oaky sensation is well matched with the spicy and elegant nuances unique to Spanish oak barrels. It is just right to be slightly watered down. It is a newborn wine, so it still feels young, but we feel that it has great potential for the future. We are very much looking forward to the release of a 3-year-old Japanese whisky next year.

Other products from Shinzato Shuzo and Suzaki 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 whisky 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 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 whisky 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.

(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 whisky? 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.

(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 whisky 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.

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