The New Japanese Gin from a Kyoto Distillery
Even though gin spirits have always been one of the Japanese’s favorites, along with sake, it was impossible to find a “made in Japan” gin liqueur. It was evident that Japan needed a gin of their own, and international firms such as Suntory and Nikka wanted to fill in the gap.
However, it was a small Kyoto distillery that set up a landmark for their gin production and replaced the shortage. The English founding partners, David Croll and head distiller Alex Davies, created what is known as Japan’s first artisanal gin distillery, Ki no Bi. The local distillery is near by the Fushimi region, in a peaceful garden and a forested land where sake is made and IT companies are close by.
The small distillery uses local ingredients form botanical sources and famous farms in Japan. Some of its ingredients include yuzu, which only grows a couple of weeks in November and December, lemons, sanshō pepper leaves, red shiso and bamboo leaves. The result of this magnificent market opportunity is a more delicate gin than those used for traditional tonics. They produce 3 types of gin at the moment: The Kin no Bi, Kin no Tea, and the Ki no Sei, which has been branded as Navy Strength Limited Edition.
The high quality of the Ki no Bi is best enjoyed with a bit of water or over the rocks, but it can also be mixed for an endless variety of cocktails. Ki no Bi Distillery is the example that less is more due to their production philosophy based on quality rather than quantity.
Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly