Japan’s Ki No Bi Sei gin launches in Europe

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The Kyoto Distillery in Japan introduces striking new packaging for its higher strength gin, Ki No Bi Sei and sets to launch in Europe.

Evolving from 2017’s Ki No Bi Navy Strength, Sei (meaning ‘power’ or ‘might’), is made by the same intricate production method as Kyoto’s original gin.

A variety of botanicals are distilled in six distinct flavour categories. The final blend has been recalibrated by the distilling team to bring out the best of each botanical at the higher proof.

Whereas Ki No Bi has an elegant profile, Ki No Bi Sei is more full-bodied in flavour and is said to work particularly well in cocktails which require greater botanical intensity.

The expression, a semi-permanent addition to the distillery’s core range, has been relaunched following last year’s highly successful inaugural release.

With limited quantities, Ki No Bi Sei will be released in two phases in 2018 in Europe and Japan, with availability in Europe from early July.

David Croll, founding partner of The Kyoto Distillery, said: “Once again, response in Japan to Ki No Bi Sei has been very strong. We could have sold our allocation four times over within a week of launch. However, we are keen to support our overseas distribution partners by ensuring they enjoy access to our limited edition bottlings.”

The gin’s new packaging emphasises the hand-crafted nature of Ki No Bi Sei. The design of the screen-printed label is taken from a woodblock from the 1600s and uses images representing berries and fruit bringing botanicals to mind. The oldest karakami atelier in Japan, Kira Karacho, founded in Kyoto in 1624, is the source of the original Edo pattern which inspired the design.

Bottled at 54.5%, the distinct taste of Ki No Bi’s flavour profile prevails, described as punchy at first on the palate but with the gin’s trademark harmony and purity.

Already released in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, Ki No Bi Sei will be available from early July in the UK, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Holland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Portugal.

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