[Review]Shizuoka Pot Still W Pure Japanese Barley First Edition

Whisky Review
Whisky Review
Shizuoka Distillery

Shizuoka Pot Still W Pure Japanese Barley First Edition, made with 100% Japanese barley, features, price, and site for purchase.

Shizuoka Distillery’s latest release, the successor to Prologue W released in 2021, and the third in the W series consisting of the wood-fired distiller W’s original spirit. 100% Japanese barley is used. This Japanese whisky is made exclusively from non-peated bourbon barrel-aged whisky.

This release is limited to 2,500 bottles sold in Japan. The suggested retail price is 18,150 yen (tax included). Distiller W was introduced later than Distiller K and has been in operation for a shorter period of time than Distiller K. The distillate is made from Japanese barley, which is less commonly harvested, and is used to brew this whisky.


1. What is Gaiaflow Distilling Co.

Gaiaflow Distilling K.K., which produces Shizuoka Pot Still W Pure Japanese Barley First Edition, is a whisky production company established in 2014. Its group company, Gaia Flow K.K., also imports and sells whisky.

Company Name Gaia Flow Distilling Co.
Established October 8, 2014
Head office location 555 Ochiai, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture, 421-2223, Japan
Owned distillery Gaiaflow Shizuoka Distillery

2. What is Gaiaflow Shizuoka distillery?

The distillery that produces the first edition of Shizuoka Pot Still W Pure Japanese Barley is the 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 Occidental (Oku-Shizuoka 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 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.

[box type=”info” align=”” class=”” width=””]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 whisky is at the top of the target list for whisky 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 cask malt masters. [/box]

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 whisky, including the Indian whisky “Amrut” and the Scottish bottlers “Black Adder” and “Astamoris”.

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

Shizuoka Distillery | Japanese...
Japanese Whisky Dictionary

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

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

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

4.Shizuoka Pot Still W Pure Japanese Barley First Edition Features

Non-peated, yet aromatic, with a charred taste and rich body derived from an open flame.

The long-awaited combination of wood-fired distillation and Japanese malt has been realized. The mellowness of the wood-fired distillation blends with the delicate and light flavor of the Japanese malt to create a single malt with a gentle and expansive taste.
In order to preserve this flavor, we have blended only the original spirit matured in ex-bourbon casks. We hope you will enjoy this unique whisky in the world. Please enjoy the one and only whisky in the world.


Quote: [New product] “Shizuoka Pot Still W Pure Japanese Barley First Edition” will be released! | GAIAFLOW BLOG

4-1. Tasting Notes

Aroma Vanilla, creamy sweetness and puff pastry-like aroma
Taste Cream puffs, crème brûlée, barley sweetness
Aftertaste Pleasant aftertaste with vanilla, ethereal nuances and savory notes.

4-2. Product Specifications

Alcohol content 55.5% alcohol by volume
By Sake Single Malt Japanese whisky
Cask type Bourbon casks
Content volume 700ml
Number of bottles sold Limited to 2,500 bottles
Suggested retail price 18,150 yen (tax included)
Release date Late May 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 W Pure Japanese Barley First Edition
Capacity 700ml
Suggested Retail Price 18,150 yen (including tax)

6-2. Resale price on Mercari

The resale price on Mercari is around 21,500 yen to 25,000 yen. (*As of 6/16/2023)

6-3. Sold price on Yahoo! Auctions

The lowestbid price on Yahoo! Auction was 17,500 yen, the highest was 24,850 yen, and the average was 20,875 yen (*Statistics for the past 180 days from 6/16/2023).

6-4. Rakuten, Yahoo Shopping, Amazon

Mail-order websites also sell these products at prices ranging from 27,800 yen to around 35,000 yen. (*As of 6/16/2023)


6-5. Prices offered at BAR Shinkai

At “BAR Shinkai” operated by this site, one glass, 45ml: 4,950 yen 30ml: 3,300 yen, 15ml: 1,650 yen, etc. are offered in small quantities.

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

7. Summary

The combination of wood-fired distillation and Japanese barley, which is the greatest feature of Pot Still W, produces a whisky with a surprisingly sweet aroma, with an outstanding vanilla aroma.
In the mouth, the sweet yet savory taste of cream puffs and a lingering estery aftertaste gradually emerge. Comparing with the past W series, you can see that it has clearly evolved while at the same time inheriting the same characteristics. We hope that you will try to compare them, even if only in small quantities.

Please check out 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.
W is the nickname for the one and only wood-fired direct-fired distiller. There are only a few open-flame distillers in ...


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.

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