The Kyoto Distillery was founded in 2015 and is owned Number One Drinks, a UK-based company founded by David Croll and gin producer Marcin Miller. Croll has lived in Japan for more than 20 years, founding Whisk-e, Japan’s largest Scotch whisky importer.
“We have worked hard to make a delicious dry gin, from local botanicals where possible, which does justice to the culture of craftsmanship for which Kyoto has been famed for over a thousand years”, says Croll. “If we succeed in this objective, I am confident gin enthusiasts around the world will enjoy Ki No Bi.”
The Kyoto Distillery claims to be the very first artisanal gin distillery to open in Japan. The distillery’s image is very Japanese, and each bottle produced there comes infused with the culture of traditional Kyoto
The distillery team have worked hard to create a great gin, and have succeeded with their flagship Ki No Bi, using many local ingredients sourced from the Kyoto countryside. The distillery also uses a unique method of distillation, in which each botanical is distilled separately and then blended together to create the final product. This method is more expensive, but is said to bring out the flavour and aroma of each botanical more effectively.
Head distiller of Kyoto Distillery, Alex Davies states, “To create our gin, we have been mastering not only the science of distillation as others have done before, but also the age-old art of blending. We break down the botanicals in our gin into six different categories: Base, Citrus, Tea, Herbal, Spice and Floral and then distil these separately before blending them back together again.”
Ki No Bi is the company’s best-seller and signature gin. Translated as “the beauty of the seasons”, this gin is created using local ingredients including yellow yuzu from Kyoto, bamboo, gyokuro tea, ginger and Japanese hinoki wood chips.