[Review] Shizuoka Pot Still K Pure Japanese Barley 2023 – Characteristics, taste, list price, where can I buy it?

Whisky Review
Whisky Review
Shizuoka Distillery

Review of Shizuoka Pot Still K Pure Japanese Barley 2023. Made with 100% Japanese barley, new from Gaiaflow Distilling Shizuoka Distillery. Includes characteristics, price, and purchase site.

This is the fourth in the K series, following Prologue K, Pure Japanese Barley First Edition, and Pure Foreign Barley First Edition. This year’s release is the 2023 edition of “Pot Still K Pure Japanese Barley First Edition,” which was released in June 2022 in 500ml bottles.
It is made with non-peat malt and has a delicate, luscious flavor unique to Japanese products.

This release is limited to a domestic sales quantity of 6,000 bottles. The suggested retail price is 14,905 yen (tax included).


1. About Gaiaflow Distilling Co.

Gaiaflow Distilling Company,” which produces Shizuoka Pot Still K Pure Japanese Barley 2023 Edition, was established in 2014 to produce whisky. Group company Gaiaflow Co., Ltd. also imports and sells whisky.

Company Name Gaiaflow Distilling Co.
Established October 8, 2014
Head office address 555 Ochiai, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture, 421-2223, Japan
Distilleries owned Gaiaflow Shizuoka Distillery

2. About Gaiaflow Shizuoka Distillery

The distillery that produces Shizuoka Pot Still K Pure Japanese Barley 2023 is Gaiaflow Shizuoka Distillery.

Distillery name 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, whisky production started on October 28.
The distillery is located in the Tamagawa district of the Okushizu area of Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture, on the banks of the Abenakagochi 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 named “K” and “W.” K is a historic distillation machine from the Karuizawa Distillery, which was manufactured in Japan in the 1950s, and was moved to Shizuoka Distillery in November 2011 from the Karuizawa Distillery, which regrettably closed down. The distiller’s graceful silhouette and the indirect heating of steam produce a 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℃, the wood-fired direct distillation at Shizuoka Distillery is 800℃, which can produce a savory and powerful type of malt base 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 whisky, has been moved from the Karuizawa Distillery and is used in the same way as the “K” distillation machine.

In case you are wondering, the phantom whisky spirit that was made at the Mercian Karuizawa Distillery and was sitting in storage without being commercialized was purchased by a British company and bottled in 2013 and sold for 2 million yen as “Karuizawa 1960”. It was then sold at auction in Scotland in 2017 for about 14 million yen. It is now clear that Japanese whisky is at the top of the target list for whisky collectors around the world. Whiskies sold by Mercian 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 in the 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 whisky, and you can sample the Indian whisky “Amrut ” and the Scottish bottlers “Black Adder” and “Astamoris”.

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

Shizuoka Distillery | Japanese...
Japanese Whisky Dictionary

3. Photos of the bottles and the website where you can buy them

Single Malt Japanese Whisky Shizuoka Pot Still K Pure Japanese Barley 2023
Single Malt Japanese Whisky Shizuoka Pot Still K 100% Japanese Barley 2023 Edition

4. Characteristics of Shizuoka Pot Still K Pure Japanese Barley 2023

Shizuoka Distillery’s “K Series” is made exclusively from sake distilled in the “K” distiller (pictured right), which was relocated from the closed Karuizawa Distillery.

This distiller, built in Japan in the 1950s, has the following features: indirect heating distillation (steam is heated by passing through pipes at the bottom of the distiller), and long, thin line arms (pipes leading from the distiller to the cooling system).
First distillation (first distillation) in distiller “K” produces a light, floral, fruity character.

Reference: [New product] “Pot Still K Pure Japanese Barley 2023” is now on sale! – GAIAFLOW NEWS

4-1. Tasting Notes

Aroma Gorgeous, perfumed aroma, floral and fruity
Taste Refined sweetness like Japanese sweets and yokan jelly, and freshness reminiscent of jasmine
Aftertaste Clearly delineated sweetness with a slight oak aroma and a malty, gentle sweetness that lingers

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content 55.5%
Alcohol category Single malt Japanese whisky
Cask type Bourbon casks
Content volume 700ml
Number of bottles sold Limited to 6,000 bottles
Suggested retail price 14,905 yen (tax included)
Release date Late November 2023

5. Awards

No awards have been received at this time.

6. List price and online price

6-1. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (list price)

Product name Single Malt Japanese Whisky Shizuoka Pot Still K Pure Japanese Barley 2023
Capacity 500ml
Suggested Retail Price 14,905 yen (including tax)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

There is no confirmed resale on Mercari at this time. (*As of November 29, 2023)

6-3. Sold price on Yahoo! Auction

There are currently no confirmed bids on Yahoo! Auctions. (*As of November 29, 2023)

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

No sales are currently confirmed on the mail order site. (*As of November 29, 2023)

6-5. Prices offered at BAR Shinkai

At “BAR Shinkai” operated by this site, we offer it in small quantities such as 1 glass, 45ml: 5,610 yen 30ml: 3,740 yen, 15ml: 1,870 yen.

Information about “BAR Shinkai”
Japanese Whisky Dictionary operates three BAR Shingai stores in Minato Ward, Tokyo. In addition to the Japanese whiskeys...

7. Summary

This release is the 2023 edition following the June 2022 release of “Pot Still K Pure Japanese Barley First Edition”.
As for the aroma and taste, although they are in a close lineage, the changes can be felt to the extent that it can be said that they are different. It has a stronger sense of perfume, elegant Japanese sweets, and jasmine nuances.

The first edition of Japanese barley has already been released in the pot still W series, so it would be interesting to compare the two to clearly see the changes in flavor due to the different pot stills.

■Please take a look at our other articles about “Shizuoka Distillery”.

【Review】Shizuoka Pot Still W Pur...
100% foreign barley. 70% is peated malt from Scotland, the first smoky single malt in Shizuoka Distillery.
[Review] Shizuoka Pot Still K Pu...
It is made from Scottish peated and non-peated malt and has a phenolic value of about 20ppm. The first official use of s...

ガイアフロー静岡蒸留所ポットスティルK 純外国産大麦 初版

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.

Misato Ushiwata

Born in Fukushima Prefecture.
She attended a university in Tokyo, where she studied brewing and other sciences while translating articles for the "Japanese Whisky Dictionary".

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