Kagoshima-based Komasa Jyozo has officially released the next expression of their gin from the Hioki Distillery. Dubbed Komasa Gin Hojicha, this one drops the citrus of the original, and instead focuses on hojicha as the main botanical.
For those not familiar, hojicha is essentially roasted green tea. Roasting tends to mellow out the tea significantly, bringing out new aromas and balancing the sweetness. While we've already seen several gins using green tea as a botanical, this is the first I am aware of using it as the chief element. They are also using juniper berry--presumably imported--and Japanese cypress seed.
At the end of last year, we saw a three-gin set pop up on Amazon JP using the "Hioki Gin" name. One of those was indeed hojicha gin, so perhaps an Amazon JP seller jumped the gun?
Komasa Gin Hojicha is already available via Komasa's web shop for 3,456 yen before tax. 500ml, 45% abv.
Whiskey Richard is the founder of nomunication.jp, and has been saying he has lived in Japan for ten years for the past four years. He enjoys drinking basically anything except straight-up Campari.