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Gaia Flow First Blended Whiskey “Gaia Flow Whiskey Blended M” Released February 2022

What you need to know:

  • Up and coming Japanese craft distiller, Shizuoka's parent, Gaia Flow, has released a blended whisky, Blended M.
  • It is made of a blend of 3 year old unpeated Shizuoka Single Malt (made using both Pot Stills K and W) and imported malt and grain whiskies from the UK.
  • Its name comes from the M in "Meet", which founder Daiko Nakamura terms the blend - a meeting or encounter between Shizuoka's own single malt and that of UK malt and grain whiskies.
  • This will be bottled at 48% ABV but most importantly, this will be the first regular release from the Japanese distillery! The first batch will see 5,555 bottles released but will continue to be released regularly through the year.
  • Cop the Drop or Not Verdict: Cop

 

 

Gaia Flow, the producer of the up and coming Japanese craft whisky, Shizuoka Single Malt, is releasing its first blended whisky, “Gaia Flow Whiskey Blended M” in February 2022.

As we had anticipated in our last post announcing the Shizuoka Contact S, Gaia Flow will be working towards producing a regular lineup for their core range, which will now include the Blended M, which will be released regularly through the year. The bottling will contain a blend of Shizuoka’s own malt whisky, aged for 3 years, and also malt and grain whisky imported from the UK.

 

Shizuoka founder Daiko Nakamura. (Image Source: Shizuoka Distillery)

 

"We would like to blend the blended whiskey we sell with the malt whiskey made at the Shizuoka Distillery from the first product. I did. Therefore, it took five years from the start of production to the preparation of raw whisky for blending, but it is finally the day when we can release it. The theme color is orange = orange, which is familiar to people in Shizuoka. I hope that this whiskey will create many “encounters. ”

- Daiko Nakamura, Founder of Gaia Flow

 

The whisky will feature a bright orange label and box that is associated with the Shizuoka Prefecture, which also happens to be known for their local specialty, the Mikan Orange. The name of the bottling itself, “M”, stands for “Meet” – to signify malt whisky born in Shizuoka Distillery having met with UK whisky. 

 

For the visionary, Nakamura, who has had no shortfall of fateful encounters, he hopes Shizuoka will be able to do the same for its fans. (Image Source: Shizuoka Distillery) 

 

“In order to provide whiskey that can be enjoyed easily, we started the concept of blended whiskey immediately after the distillery started operation. Since the production volume at the Shizuoka Distillery is limited, we purchase raw new make from overseas (malt whiskey and grain whiskey from the UK) and store it on the premises. 

After the release of the single malt whiskey "Prologue K" (released in 2020), "Prologue W" and "Contact S" (both released in 2021) bearing the name of Shizuoka Distillery, we started manufacturing blended whiskey.” 

 

Shizuoka's famed pot still K and it's one and only pot still W, both of which were used for the new bottling. (Image Source: Shizuoka Distillery)

 

This bottling will only use non-peated barley sourced locally in Japan and will contain distillate from both the distillery’s K and W pot stills, K producing lighter-bodied whiskies and W producing richer, full-bodied whiskies. This release will be bottled at 48% ABV.

There will be a total of 5,555 bottles released initially, followed by regular releases throughout the year, and will retail at 3,600 Yen or $31.50 USD.

It should be noted that as it contains whisky sourced from outside of Japan, it does not fall within the JSLMA standards to be labelled as Japanese whisky.

 

Our Take 

As predicted previously, Shizuoka has steadily been working towards bringing their whiskies to greater mass accessibility - to bring their whiskies to as many fans as possible. This is part of their goal to bring a taste of Shizuoka to the world. Thus far what we've seen are baby steps, albeit very promising, it's key to know that we've not yet seen Shizuoka at its full capacity yet.

 

The inaugural Shizuoka Prologues K and W were a big hit with fans.

We reviewed the Shizuoka Prologues here.

Prologue K and W were just that - prologues; those were component whiskies which the distillery used to demonstrate the breakdown of what would go into their eventual core range single malt. Their third official release, Contact S, was probably the first time we got to see what would likely be the designated character of Shizuoka's core range single malt. However, these releases have all been exceptionally difficult to get hands on and have gone on to fetch big multiples of their RRP on secondary auctions. 

With the new blend, Blended M, which is not released under Shizuoka Distillery, but rather parent, Gaia Flow, we're seeing an attempt to make some of Shizuoka's malt whisky much more available and perhaps what would be their first regularly released whisky making up their core range.

 

 

The playbook is pretty similar to what's been done at Chichibu Distillery with the Ichiro's Malt line up, and that's been a great hit with fans. The price here is also made very accessible which should make this one to try. With that said, what's not to love?

 

Cop the Drop or Not Verdict: Cop

 

If you liked reading about the new Blended M, you'll probably like these as well:

 

Kanpai!

 

@111hotpot



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