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Friday, 19th August 2016
In General Japan News,

Kyoto artisan gin distillery gets production license

The first dedicated artisan gin distillery in Kyoto could soon be creating its signature tipple after being awarded a production license.

Batches of KI NO BI, which means The Beauty of the Seasons, could soon be released from the Kyoto Distillery and in the hands of gin lovers across Japan.

Using a traditional dry style of manufacture, but with a distinctively Japanese twist, KI NO BI will be distilled, blended and bottled entirely in Kyoto.

This will make it a wonderful gift or souvenir of the refined city, which was once the capital of the country.

Alex Davies, head distiller, said: “To create our gin, we will be mastering not only the science of distillation as others have done before, but also the age-old art of blending.

“We will break down the botanicals in our gin into six different categories: base, citrus, tea, herbal, spice and floral and will then distil these separately before blending them back together again.”

Now that the license has been issued, the distilling equipment, which has been made to order in Germany by Christian Carl, can be put to good use.

It includes two copper stills – the first with a 140-litre capacity and an integrated botanical basket; and the second can hold 450 litres, has a swan neck and a side-mounted botanical basket.

Six months has been spent selecting the best places to source the botanicals, which will give the 45.7 per cent ABV spirit much of its flavour.

The result will be a culmination of the best of Japan, with yellow yuzu from the north of Kyoto Prefecture, hinoki wood chips, bamboo, gyokuro tea and green sansho berries from the Uji region.

All of this will be capped off with Fushimi water, which is known for its purity, and will be used to make the gin the right strength for drinking.

Related news stories:
Koike: Japan's first female PM? (3rd September 2008)
Mayor of Kyoto outlines plans for tourism (22nd September 2014)
Kyoto named world's best city by Travel + Leisure for second consecutive year (8th July 2015)
Kyoto acclaimed as best travel destination (8th July 2014)
New drive to save Kyoto's historic narrow homes (8th December 2014)