[Review]Single Malt Whisky Shizuoka Contact S

Whisky Review
Whisky Review
Shizuoka Distillery

On November 27, 2021, the third Single Malt Whisky Shizuoka Contact S was released.
The number of bottles to be sold is 5,000 and the suggested retail price is 8,943 yen (including tax), the same as Prologue K and Prologue W. The price is relatively affordable compared to other Japanese whiskys released by craft distilleries these days, but the popularity of this whisky makes it difficult to obtain.


1. Maker

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 whisky 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 lower 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 whisky 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 whisky that is uniquely Shizuoka.
The malt mill used to grind malt, the raw material for whisky, is a relocated machine from the Karuizawa distillery, as is the distiller “K”.

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In case you’re wondering, a fantastic whisky that was made at Mercian’s Karuizawa distillery and was sitting in storage without being commercialized was bought by a British company, bottled in 2013 and sold for 2 million yen as Karuizawa 1960. It was then sold for about 14 million yen at a Scottish auction in 201 7. 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. [/speech_balloon_left1]

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

Single Malt Whisky Shizuoka Contact S 

4. Characteristics

The first blend of two different types of sake, K and W.

The Shizuoka distillery uses two first distillation units, K (moved from the Karuizawa distillery) and W (wood-fired direct distillation), to produce two different types of raw spirits with different characteristics. Contact S is the first single malt to blend both of these types of raw materials.
The steam-heated K has a fruity aroma and light flavor, while the wood-fired W gives a heavier flavor and a longer finish.
The ingredients are mainly barley malt from Japan, peated malt from Scotland, non-peated malt and beer malt. The barrels are mainly first-fill bourbon barrels, with some quarter casks used as well. It is a Japanese whisky made mainly from Japanese ingredients.
This single malt is the fruit of the combined efforts of the wooden fermenters and distillers at the Shizuoka Distillery.

quotation:Shizuoka Contact S Shizuoka Distillery | Shizuoka Whiskey

4-1. Tasting Notes

NoseFloral, sweet, vanilla, malty.
TasteMalt flavor, grain sweetness, sweetness and fullness from the bourbon barrels.
AftertasteWoody, with a slight peat aftertaste.

4-2. Product Specifications

Product nameSingle Malt Whisky Shizuoka Contact S
Sake categorySingle Malt Japanese Whisky
IngredientsJapanese barley malt, Scottish peated malt, Scottish のnon-peated malt, German beer malt
Barrel typeFirst Fill Bourbon Barrel, First Fill Bourbon Quarter Cask
Number of bottles soldLimited to 5,000 bottles
Number of bottles55.5 percent
Price8,943 yen (tax included)
ManufacturerGaia Flow Shizuoka Distillery

5. Awards

There are no awards at this time.

6. Price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price

Product nameSingle Malt Whisky Shizuoka Contact S
Suggested retail price8,943 yen (tax included)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is Around 34,000 yen to 38,000 yen The resale price on Mercari is as follows. (*As of 11/29/2021)

6-3. Sold price on Yahoo Auction

The winning bid price on Yahoo Auction is Lowest bidder: 34,000 yen, highest bidder: 50,000 yen, average bidder: 42,100 yen (*Statistics for the past 180 days as of November 29, 2021)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

On mail order sites, it is sold at Around 50,000 yen (*Statistics for the past 180 days as of 11/29/2021) (*as of 11/29/2021)

6-5. Price offered at BAR Shinkai

At “BAR SHINKAI”, which is operated by this website 1 glass, 45ml: 3,300 yen, 30ml: 2,200 yen, 15ml: 1,100 yen We also offer small quantities such as.


7. Summary

As it is a blend of K and W sake, it has a medium body that is neither too light nor too heavy, with a very elegant aroma and taste. It has a medium body, not too light and not too heavy, with a very elegant aroma and taste. It is a bit like Prologue K.
It’s not too light and not too heavy. In the aftertaste, you can feel a slight peatiness, and it is interesting to see how it changes from just being elegant. The attack is not overpowering, so it is suitable for people who don’t usually drink whisky and women.

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 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.

新海 博之

Born July 17, 1981 in Kitahiroshima City, Hokkaido, Japan
After graduating from university, joined NTT Data Customer Service Corporation as a new graduate.
2010: Opened "Azabujuban BAR Shinkai" → 2016: Developed specialty "Yakuzen Curry" → 2018: Opened "Toranomon BAR Shinkai" and in 2019 "Shibadaimon BAR Shinkai" → 2020: Started web media "Japanese Whisky Dictionary".
We will daily communicate the appeal of Japanese whiskey as something we, as bartenders, can do.

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Japanese Whisky Dictionary