The Kyoto Distillery officially introduces the Ki No Bi Go Kyoto Dry Gin, a limited-edition expression that celebrates the fifth anniversary of the original Ki No Bi Kyoto Dry Gin.

Japanese gin pioneers The Kyoto Distillery has announced a new limited-edition gin, the Ki No Bi Go Kyoto Dry Gin. Best known for introducing the country’s first gin with the release of its signature Ki No Bi Dry Gin back in 2016, its latest gin expression was launched to mark the fifth anniversary of the distillery’s first gin.

For those not familiar with The Kyoto Distillery, the distillery was founded by three friends, Noriko Kakuda Croll, David Croll and Marcin Miller, back in 2014. Unlike most of its contemporaries, the artisanal Kyoto-based distillery is purpose-built and wholly-focused on gin production.

Ki No Bi was the first to leverage distinctive Japanese ingredients, such as yuzu, sansho pepper, Japanese cypress, green tea and shiso, as botanicals in the making of its gin. These ingredients, then unique and unusual as gin botanicals, led its first product, the Ki No Bi Dry Gin, to take the world by storm when it started exporting in 2017. Ki No Bi Dry Gin was followed by Ki No Bi Sei, its British Navy Strength gin, and Ki No Tea, created by collaboration with celebrated Kyoto tea-grower and blender Hori Shichimeien and made using top-quality sencha and gyokuro tea.

Ki No Bi Go Kyoto Dry Gin
The limited edition Go commemorates the fifth anniversary of the original Ki No Bi Kyoto Dry Gin.

What’s particular interesting in the Ki No Bi gin making process? The use of blending. Unlike most other gin distilleries that combine all botanicals in the botanical basket to infuse flavours, The Kyoto Distillery processes its 11 botanicals into six different component distillates using a base rice spirit before combining them into a final composite blend. This approach allows greater consistency across batches, especially when using seasonal ingredients such as yuzu and shiso.

By early 2020, The Kyoto Distillery attracted the attention of French spirits company Pernod Ricard who made a significant investment in them.

Its newest release Ki No Bi Go Kyoto Dry Gin – ‘Go’ being the number five in Japanese, signifying its fifth anniversary – is a higher-proof take on Ki No Bi Dry Gin clocking in at 50% ABV. It also eschews the hinoki (Japanese cypress wood) in the original award-winning gin for akamatsu, or Japanese red pine.

The official tasting notes describe the limited-edition gin with a nose that’s sweet, complex and fruity on the nose, with fresh yuzu and bright sansho bursting forward and notes of new grass and a white chocolate like softness from the gyokuro. On the palate is a wonderful, sweet entry followed up by some peppery sansho, resinous akamatsu and rich citrus. The finish reveals notes of ginger and lemon with forest-like undertones of akamatsu and juniper.

Ki No Bi Go Kyoto Dry Gin with cocktail
Try the Autumn Child, a cocktail at Live Twice made with the commemorative gin, from now till 13 November 2021.

According to Pernod Ricard, roughly 15,000 bottles of Ki No Bi Go Kyoto Dry Gin were planned for release. Singapore is one of the few Asian markets – along with Japan and Hong Kong – to secure this once-off commemorative bottling, with an allocation of around 360 bottles. This limited edition gin can be purchased from grand lobby bar ATLAS from 9 November, and it will also be made available through Pernod Ricard Singapore’s members club, Le Cercle, for members to purchase.

From now till 13 November, you also can sample an exclusive cocktail made with the limited edition gin, Autumn’s Child, at mid-century Ginza-inspired cocktail bar Live Twice.

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