Our craft distillery is based in Kyoto, as opposed to Tokyo or Osaka or Hokkaido, or numerous other locations that could feasibly have been contenders. The simple answer is that it could only have been Kyoto for us; no other areas were ever seriously considered. It’s a subconscious feeling that this city and its proud history symbolize what we are trying to achieve with our gin. Not only does it feel like the right place to be producing such a craft product, but it also offers us an abundance of raw materials with which to work-the soft waters of Fushimi, famed for the highest quality sake production for centuries, a huge selection of locally-grown ingredients, such as yuzu, sansho and the legendary teas of Uji. Perhaps foremost though is the inspiration which living and working in this city provides, existing alongside businesses that have been crafting beautiful fabrics, pottery and paper for many hundreds of years. KI NO BI (‘The Beauty of the Seasons’) is inspired by tradition and is distilled, blended and bottled in Kyoto. Our gin is made in a recognisable dry style but with a distinct Japanese accent. KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin is created with Japanese botanicals such as yellow yuzu from the north of Kyoto Prefecture, hinoki wood chips (Japanese cypress), bamboo, gyokuro tea from the Uji region and green sanshō (Japanese peppercorn) berries. INSPIRED BY TRADITION CRAFTED IN KYOTO.
The bouquet is bright and has intriguing subtlety. It leads with fresh eucalyptus juniper accompanied by round green herbal notes, there is an underlying sweetness and a hint of ripe fruit. The palate shows crisp bold juniper followed by dry spice and a very pleasant wave of pepper activation and warm round sweetness. This gin is really very, very good sipped neat on ice. The creamy mouth feel comes into its own and the flavours build as you sip with a subtle warmth and the tea notes coming through on the finish.