Japan's National Tax Agency has disclosed the approval of a license for Number One Drinks' Kyoto Distillery to make liqueur.
That's important since up until now, The Kyoto Distillery has been solely focused on gin. And they do a damn good job of it, being the home of Ki No Bi Kyoto Dry Gin. It's safe to credit Ki No Bi with kicking off the Japanese craft gin movement, launching way back in 2016. Since then we've seen a slew of other companies enter the market.
The original Ki No Bi has been very successful, most recently gaining the Kyoto Distillery recognition as Icons of Gin 2019's Craft Distillery of the Year. But the team hasn't rested on their laurels. Instead we've seen Ki No Bi Sei, Ki No Tou, as well as more limited releases like the recent Ki No Bi Edition K. It's clear they've been working with a wide variety of ingredients and botanicals. This makes a move into liqueurs showcasing Japanese ingredients pretty understandable. If, of course, it actually pans out -- Whisk-E Ltd. did not respond to a request for comment on this story.
Also pending official announcement, we recently saw some evidence that Suntory will be releasing Japanese craft liqueurs in the near future. They're calling it the "Kanade" line. But with their proven track record, the Kyoto Distillery should certainly be able to come up with something at the same level if not better.
I’m Whiskey Richard, and I am the founder of nomunication.jp. I’ve lived in Tokyo for over a decade, and I am a certified Shochu Kikisake-shi/Shochu Sommelier (焼酎唎酒師), Cocktail Professor (カクテル検定１級), and I hold Whisky Kentei Level 3 (ウイスキー検定３級). Click here for more details about me and this site. Kampai!