Japan’s Kyoto Distillery has launched Ki No Jyu, the first expression in a new ultra-premium gin range inspired by local craftsmanship and culture.Ki No Jyu Kyoto Gin Series 1 Gyokuro is the first expression in the new Kyoto Gin Series. Available in small quantities, the range takes inspiration from the history and culture of Kyoto and will see the distillery partner with local farmers and artisans. The distillery has collaborated with Horii Shichimeien, a tea farmer in Uji, Kyoto, to create the new expression. Shichimeien tea’s were used to create some of Kyoto’s other expression including Ki No Bi Kyoto Dry Gin. Ki No Jyu is made from Okuno Yama tea, a type of Gyokuro green tea. Gyokuro tea is known for its “distinctive” method of cultivation, which is grown in the shade under nets. Okuno Yama is grown in Uji’s oldest tea garden, which dates back to the 15th century. Head distiller Alex Davies and the distilling team used a small copper pot to extract the essence of the tea. The distillers spent 12 months blending and experimenting before settling on the final product. Bottled at 47% ABV for “maximum intensity”, Ki No Jyu has notes of rich green tea and fresh citrus. It is recommended served neat. The bottle design has been created in partnership with the Kira Karacho studio, which hand printed the jewel design on local washi paper from a woodblock. The printed washi paper is then divided into six pieces and applied to each bottle. The velvet cloth and tung wood box are also made by local craftsmen and printed with jewel patterns. Kyoto Distillery founding partner, Noriko Kakuda Croll, said: “Ki No Jyu is an expression of the very finest craftsmanship of Kyoto, underpinned by the attention to detail which passes through generations.” Ki No Jyu will launch initially in Japan in “very limited quantities” for ¥50,000 (US$471). It will be rolled out globally next year.