New London dry gin captures essence of Japanese Alps


kuro gin

A new gin has been launched that is designed to capture the essence of the Japanese Alps through its botanicals.

Kuro is described as an earthy, aromatic Japanese take on a London dry gin, made with 12 botanicals including silver birch bark, spruce needles and bamboo-activated charcoal in a 300-litre copper still.

Named after the Japanese word for “black”, it was created by Craig Fell and John Thomson after a skiing trip in Japan’s Hakuba Valley. They briefed Rob Dorsett, master distiller at Langley Distillery in Birmingham, to create a gin that would capture their experience of the region.

The gin was launched on the stand of wholesaler Hammonds of Knutsford at the Imbibe Live show on Monday and Tuesday this week in London, with the first batch due to be released to market today.

Craig said: “Kuro has been 18 months in the making and we’re delighted with the end product. This is something completely different in the world of gin, and I hope to have captured the experience of the Hakuba Valley alpine slopes in every serve of Kuro.

“The thrill of the slopes, beauty of surroundings and overall sensory experience has been contained in each of the 12 botanicals, namely the three lead ingredients, silver birch bark, spruce needles and bamboo-activated charcoal, which make up Kuro’s core identity as an earthy, aromatic Japanese take on a London dry gin, which brings an intriguing alpine freshness to a classic spirit.

“In the next 12 months we aim to secure national listings in premium bars, restaurants and selected retailers across the country, and establish Kuro among the British gin drinkers’ repertoire. International stockists are also among our first-year targets, and I have an ambition to take Kuro back to the place it was conceived, Japan.”

The other nine botanicals are coriander, orange, orris, nutmeg, angelica, lemon, liquorice, cinnamon and juniper. It has ABV of 43%.

Tasting notes from Kuro Gin
The spirit possesses an aromatic nose originating from its Japanese botanicals, balanced against a classic, complex, London dry base. Bamboo-activated charcoal and silver birch bring a hay-like earthiness to the clear spirit, with spruce needles building an intriguing alpine freshness. The result is a complex gin with a smooth and creamy mouth feel.

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