Why Buy: The word is most definitely out about Shizuoka, and to judge by this radiant trio of terroir-driven single malt releases — full of all the delicacy, refinement, balance, and subtle complexity that Japanese whisky at its best can deliver: it's no wonder that collectors have been scouring the market for bottles, any bottles, from this meteorically-rising producer, a true craft distiller.

The Story: In the wine world, terroir is frequently invoked, with vintners and critics alike extolling its mystery and magic. It's considerably less front-and-center in the world of spirits. But at Shizuoka, terroir is the all and everything, and it would be frankly impossible to imagine these distinctive whiskies without the land around it to seed and nurture them. Founded in 2016 by Taiko Nakamura, the distiller, located in the "Oku-Siz" region, halfway between Tokyo and Nagoya, sits on the banks of the Nakakouchi River. Underground water flows from the Japanese Southern Alps and irrigates the land. It's only fitting, then, that one of these whiskies — Pot Still 'K' — is produced with steam heat, from a pot still sourced from the historic distillery Karuizawa (whose vintage releases are still being chased on the web). Another natural element, fire, is the heat source for Pot Still 'W,’ with trees from Shizuoka prefecture supplying the wood. According to Shizuoka, it's the only legal, wood-fired still in the world. Nor do the firsts end there. Inspired by the Japanese art of sake-making, the distiller has the only cedar washbacks in the world and Pot Still 'W' is the first-ever bottling to use 100% Japanese-grown barley malt. But does all this terroir-focused detail work show up in the glass? It does, and gloriously — and deliciously — so.

Our Tasting Notes: We expected balance, harmony, and purity from these whiskies, but what we could not predict was the degree to which these qualities displayed themselves to us, nor could we have anticipated the power and strength in them. The 'K,' heated with steam, is the lightest of the three (though please do not construe this to mean that it's insubstantial or thin; on the contrary), and delivers gorgeous aromatics and a smooth, elegant experience. The 'W,' heated by direct wood, is heavier, with a depth that connotes fullness and maturity, and a long, sustained finish. In 'S,' we find a literal — and beautiful — unity of the two stills.

ABV: Pot Still 'W' and Pot Still 'K,' 55.5%; United 'S,' 50.5%

Fun Fact: As a result of fluctuating temperature changes in Shizuoka prefecture, the whiskies mature more rapidly than at distilleries with a more stable climate.

Our Guarantee: We always buy and source direct, so you can be confident that your whiskies will arrive in your hands with pristine provenance. Don't hesitate to secure yours today!


*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Spring 2024. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in CT, KS, KY, LA, MI, NC, NJ, NM, NY, NV, TN, VA, WA, & WI. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Tuesday, December 12, 2023.