GIN - The Kyoto Distillery

Pioneering in Premium Gin

Text: Sayako Suehiro / Photo: Kaina Honma


What does GIN make you think of?

Gin and tonic, gin buck, gin rickey... To those who think of a gin-based cocktails, here is something new from Kyoto that will change your perception of GIN.

The Gin Distillery was established in Kyoto in August 2016. A first in Kyoto to be certified as spirits producer of craft gin distillery. They are making super-premium gin that shall represent Kyoto.

Their first product was launched on October 14th, named KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin. Under the motto 'INSPIRED BY TRADITION', this product expresses Kyoto's culture, tradition, high quality ingredients and inspirations given by them.


KI NO BI is created by a prominent ingredients and method. Many of the ingredients are sourced from Kyoto Prefecture and other parts of Japan. Unlike the usual ingredients used for gin such as millet and blackstraps, they use rice. It's a rice spirits. The water is Kyoto's pure Fushimizu. And most importantly, the botanicals that makes the arome. Among the 11 botanicals, many are from Kyoto such as sansho pepper, yuzu citrus, gyokuro green tea. They initially started of by experimenting 30 botanicals and ended up with the 11 they use now. 


They produce by Miyabi process where the 11 botanicals are divided into 6 groups to be distilled before blending. By separating the groups, each aroma will remain strong and the blending adjustments more easy.

Why gin among many spirits, like whiskey, brandy, shochu, etc. David Croll, CEO of Number One Drinks, answers the question. 'One reason is that I simply like gin. Gin based cocktails are popular in Japan, but in overseas, people are starting to enjoy it straight with food. I see gin market growing in Japan, too. Inspired by the power of Kyoto that has long supported the manufacturing culture in the country, we decided to start a super-premium craft gin.' 

KI NO BI is smooth and light. 'We advise a simple style, with ice or some water'. They are confident of the quality that offers excellent taste. 

They also worked hard on the visual. The bottle is custom made by Sakai Glass in Osaka, label design uses a block motif supervised by KIRA KARACHO that express Japan's 4 seasons. They emphasised in creating Kyoto's traditional taste.

'craft has become a popular word lately, but we do not use is as something coinsidently made. Our's is a true craft-gin in that we have repeated many try and fail, from ingredients, distillery and design to reach the highest point' says Yoichi Motoki, distiller in charge of producing.

The more I listen to their story, the more I get excited in their further development. I shall enjoy this drink with thoughts to the efforts of many people that created this product. 


<The Kyoto Distillery>
*KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin is planned to be sold at domestic department stores and liquor shops accordingly (retail price 5,400 yen including tax)
**For more information please access their website

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★ Satoshi Furukawa, the guide of 'Hidden spots - Spend a relaxing off day at Kitaoji' article offers their KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin at his Bar Mayday. Try it out!

★This article is part of Web Magazine 'BEACON MAGAZINE VOL.3 ~AQUA in KYOTO', which features on Kyoto from AtoZ. Please take a look at other articles, too.