KI NOH BI 11th Edition Karuizawa & Mizunara Cask Aged Gin - The Kyoto Distillery

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KI NOH BI 11th Edition Karuizawa & Mizunara Cask Aged Gin


KI NO BI was the first Japanese gin made in Kyoto, crafted using a rice-based spirit, pure water from the Fushimi sake-brewing district and an array of Japanese botanicals, such as yellow yuzu, hinoki wood chips, bamboo, gyokuro tea from the Uji region and green sanshō berries. This incredible producer has been named Craft Distiller of the Year (Icons of Gin 2019) and International Gin Producer of the Year (International Wine & Spirits Competition 2018).

KI NOH BI is a high-strength, cask-aged series of KI NO BI Gin labelled with masks from Japan’s traditional Noh theatre, specifically in collaboration with the Kamaisobi Noh Troupe. The 11th Edition features “Fukai”, a female mask intended to portray someone who has aged gracefully and has a strong character – very fitting for this gin. But what is so very special about this gin is that it has been aged for over six months in two different types of casks before blending; one an ex-Karuizawa Sherry butt and the other a Mizunara (Japanese oak) puncheon. The Karuizawa cask imparts rich fruitcake and Christmassy flavours, while the Mizunara adds aromatic oak and spice notes. 402 bottles of this incredible gin were made for the Andaz Hotel in Japan, and 600 were bottled for the rest of the world; Harvey Nichols has managed to secure 60 of them. But, be warned, they won't hang around for long.

Karuizawa is the Holy Grail for whisky collectors and Single Malt aficionados. Now a cult brand that commands exceptionally high prices due to its paucity, the tiny Karuizawa distillery was established in 1955 on the slopes of the active volcano Mount Asama in Nagano Prefecture. Using water filtered through volcanic rock, Golden Promise barley imported from Scotland and Sherry casks from Spain, it shot to fame when it became the first Japanese distiller to export in 1959. The hot summers and cold winters, coupled with the heavily sherried style, creates a mature whisky that is decidedly Scottish despite being created halfway around the world. Unfortunately, production ceased in 2000 and the distillery was mothballed. Few will ever get the chance to taste a Karuizawa whisky, let alone be in the same room as a bottle. So, a gin aged in a Karuizawa cask is a rare thing indeed.

Mizunara barrels also have a cult following. After World War II, Japan found it very hard to secure barrels to mature its whisky in, but demand was growing. So, they turned to Japanese oak, also known as Mizunara. It’s famously difficult to work with, making it expensive and rare, but it imparts exotic aromas of sandalwood, incense and spices. These barrels therefore always add an intriguing and unique quality to any spirit they mature.

£20 per 100.00ml

SKU No.: 3158819

Style No.: 784184

Country: Japan
Alcohol by volume (ABV): 48%
Volume: 700ml

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