In June 2021 the Japanese single malt Shizuoka Prologue W was released, the counterpart of the previous Shizuoka Prologue K.
It was produced on their wood-fired, directly heated pot still, made by Forsyth’s and probably unique in the world. Local woodcutters bring in thinly chopped coniferous trees from surrounding forests. Contrary to an indirectly heated still, which operates at around 150 degrees, the temperature for direct heat distillation can go up to 800 degrees Celsius.
Shizuoka Prologue W was made from three types of barley: Japanese malt, Scottish malt (both peated and unpeated) and German beer malt. The whisky was aged for three years in a total of 31 casks: first-fill bourbon barrels, first-fill bourbon quarter casks and virgin American oak barrels.
Shizuoka Prologue W (55,5%, OB 2021, bourbon and virgin oak casks, 5000 btl.)
Nose: quite sweet and estery, with honey and caramelized malt but also earthy hints and some gin-like spices like juniper, cardamom and aniseed. Some stone fruits and lemon peels in the background, as well as a faint smoky edge. Similar hints of nail polish and wet limestone that I also got in Prologue K.
Mouth: quite a lot of oak spice now, with a big wave of menthol, as well as white pepper, aniseed and caraway seed. Again this light echo of gin and nail polish. Lemon peel, light vanilla, some pencil shavings and pepper. After that it evolves towards sweet malt and vanilla with vague fruity notes in the background. Orange peel. A suggestion of peat as well.
Finish: quite long but slightly spirity, with vanilla and warming malty notes.
Another interesting, reasonably complex and rather unique Shizuoka whisky. It feels more full-bodied but a little more spirity and rough than Prologue K. This release is a bit more wood-influenced as well. Released for around € 70 in Japan.
There’s now also a 2x 20cl kit with both Prologue K and Prologue W