Japan’s Kyoto Gin Distillery releases Ki No Jyu, the first subtle expression of a premium gin range inspired by local Kyoto craftsmanship and and its culture.
The concept itself unfortunately will see its release in Japan only and in very small quantities, however on the plus side, there might be a chance for a worldwide batch release in late 2020, with such level of sophistication, it is enough assurance the person getting on hold of any of this bottles will really enjoy them.
Taking inspirations from Kyoto’s local history and craftsmanship, the distillery will be partnering with local farmers and artisans to bring the essence of them into gin expressions, and the distillery on this occasion has found the best partner to collaborate and shine on the first release of the series Ki No Jyu, with one of the utterly most iconic and representative in ingredients of Kyoto.
Horii Shichimeien, a tea farmer in Uji, Kyoto, to create the first release of this series. Shichimeien tea’s has been used in the past to create some others gins Ki No Bi Kyoto Dry Gin.
KI NO JYU is a collaborative product with Horii Shichimeien, a historic tea farmer in Uji in Kyoto.
Ki No Jyu has been made from the extremely luxurious Okuno Yama tea, a Gyokuro type cultivated in Uji’s oldest tea garden, dating back to the 15th century. The tea in this area is known from its hard-working cultivation method with extreme care, managing the amount of sun it can get by a system of shade nets to develop intense aromas and a sweet flavour.
The distilling team in command of Head distiller Alex Davies were using a small copper pot to extract the essence of the tea and spent about 12 months blending and experimenting, and finally bottled at 47% ABV for “maximum intensity”. Ki No Jyu explodes notes of rich green tea and fresh local citrus fruits, recommended served neat by the distillery.
The label designs for the series will be made by KIRA KARACHO, part of the KARACHO karakami atelier founded in Kyoto in 1624. , which hand prints the jewel design on local washi paper from a woodblock.
It will be initially released in Japan in very limited quantities, priced at the blimey ¥50,000 and hoping to be rolled out globally in 2020.
|Ki No Jyu Kyoto Gin | Series 1 “Gyokuro”|
|Feature Ingredients: Gyokuro (Okuno Yama tea)|
|Outrun: 108 Bottles|
|Reference Retail Price: ¥50,000 (excluding tax)|
The Kyoto Distillery’s Production Method
The most popular and therefore most common way for producing gin is called the ‘one-shot’ distillation method; using this process the maker only distils their macerated liquid once.
KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin, however, is made with a particularly intricate production method: Botanicals are separated into six different categories (base, citrus, tea, herbal, spice and floral), each category is then macerated in rice spirit before being distilled individually. The distillates are then masterfully blended together before being left to marry together which allows the disparate flavours to harmonise, giving perfect balance in our gin. This elaborate process is rather unusual as it requires a considerable amount of additional time and effort. The majority of the gin distilleries around the world seldom use this complicated method. KI NO BI, however, simply cannot be created without this unusual yet highly sophisticated distillation practice. By Ki Noh Bi
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