Saga prefecture's first craft gin distillery is the Kusunohana Distillery, launched in May 2019. Distillation began in April 2020 using an iStill from the Netherlands. In July 2020, their first gin was released. Let's have a look at their original gin focusing on botanicals from Saga. Bar Leichhardt's Yu Sumiyoshi visits.
Images/text: Yu Sumiyoshi
Translation: Whiskey Richard
This article originally appeared in Japanese in Whisky Galore Vol.22 / October 2020.
Header image: Founder Shinji Wada (left) and Branding Director Hideyuki Yamazaki (right)The Kusunohana Distillery is Saga prefecture's first craft gin distillery. Shinji Wada, company president and master distiller, established the company in May 2019 and began distillation in April 2020. It's located in Morodomi of Saga city, about 20 minutes away from JR Saga station by car. The distillery's name comes from the camphor flowers found on-site.
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Mamoru Tsuchiya is Japan’s foremost whisky critic. He is the Representative Director of the Japan Whisky Research Centre, and was named one of the “World’s Best Five Whisky Writers” by Highland Distillers in 1998. He served as the whisky historian for NHK’s Massan and he has published several books such as The Complete Guide to Single Malt Whisky, Taketsuru’s Life and Whisky, and The Literacy of Whisky. He is the editor of the bimonthly Whisky Galore, Japan’s only print whisky magazine.