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KINOBI Gin Kyoto Distillery: inspired by tradition

KINOBI Gin – Kyoto Distillery.

KINOBI Gin Kyoto Distillery: inspired by tradition Kyoto Distillery is the first Japanese distillery dedicated to gin. Inspired by Kyoto’s history and craftsmanship, it reflects the vision of the founders who wanted to create the best gins in the world.

They are often asked why they chose to set up their artisanal gin distillery in Kyoto rather than Tokyo, Osaka or Hokkaido or any of the many other locations that could have been selected.

The simple answer is that, for them, it had to be Kyoto, and no other place has ever been given serious consideration.

They instinctively felt that this city with its proud history symbolized what they were trying to achieve with their gins. If the people of Kyoto accept and welcome this further cultural achievement to the city’s myriad of already achieved in the past 1,000 years and beyond, then they will have been successful.

Not only does Kyoto seem like the perfect place to make a product of this quality, but it also offers an abundance of raw materials to work with: the soft waters of Fushimi, famous for centuries for producing the highest quality sake, and a vast selection of locally grown ingredients, such as yuzu, sanshō and the legendary Uji teas.

Perhaps even more significant is the inspiration they draw from living and working in this city, together with other companies that have been making beautiful fabrics, ceramics and paper for hundreds of years.

The bottles carry this message, distilled in its essence.


KINOBI Kyoto Dry Gin 11 botanicals, 6 elements

KINOBI gin uses juniper, iris and hinoki as its basic ingredients. These ingredients form the basic aromatic structure of our gin and represent more than half of the botanicals used.

Sanshō pepper and kinome give KINOBI an oriental and spicy aroma, which mainly characterizes the finish.

Ginger gives a sharp and juicy mouthfeel, adding complexity to the gin.


Green tea binds to other spirits during the blending process and helps bring them all together in harmony.

Bamboo leaves and shiso add a fruity and floral essence to KINOBI’s underlying flavor.

Botanicals They spend six months selecting the best suppliers and botanicals for the production of KINOBI Kyoto Dry Gin, many of which come locally from Kyoto Prefecture. In all they tested over 100 botanicals before deciding on the final recipe using just 11 of them.

They divide these 11 botanical elements into 6 elements by flavor and aroma: base, citrus, herbs, spices, green and fruity and floral tea, then distil these elements separately before blending them with water from a Fushimi sake brewery.

Their meticulous work creates a delicious gin also aims to do justice to the craft culture that Kyoto has been famous for for over 1,000 years.


The Founders

David and Noriko created brands such as the Scotch Malt Whiskey Society (SMWS), the Isle of Arran and Springbank in Japan, as well as launching the BrewDog business and opening the bar in Roppongi. They supported artisanal gin, working with Chase and Sipsmith, and premium mixers with Fever-Tree. David was named Rectifier of the Gin Guild, in addition to being named Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Distillers. Marcin is a Master of the Quaich, Colonel of Kentucky, Warden Rectifier of the Gin Guild and Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Distillers. He has acted as a communications consultant for Ardbeg, Craigellachie, Glenfiddich and No. 3 Gin, among many others. He has contributed to numerous books and written for titles such as The Spectator and The Daily Telegraph.


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