One of the most exciting spirit trends in recent years is the emergence of Japanese gins.
With their renowned approach to craft and attention to detail, and building on the reputation of their whisky, these gin expressions offer a high quality drinking experience.
Some are creations of Sake or Shōchū houses, breweries or whisky producers, so the approaches are quite different making for a nice diversity. But in my experience they all create some of the most refined gins I’ve encountered.
They might be labelled contemporary style gins for their use of botanicals not found in traditional London Dry style gins, which makes them all the more exciting. Using botanicals like sakura flower, sakura leaf, yuzu peel, sencha tea, gyokuro tea, sansho pepper, or yellow yuzu, bamboo, gyokuro tea, ginger, and hinoki wood to name a few s on a range of spirit bases, making for a unique flavour profile for each release.
The growth of the industry in recent years as been phenomenal with some 600% growth, exporting over 1.4 million litres in 2017. Many of these brands have only emerged in the last three years or so, but the makers in many instances draw on decades or longer experience in sake or other traditional processes.
So here’s a list of current gin labels, and if I’ve missed one, please let me know.
Note, there may be a few versions of the gin for some of these.
We also have some in-depth reviews on the website, and there are links to those where we’ve covered the release, or link to the makers own website or facebook page where possible, note some of these might in Japanese or a bit obscure as they don’t always highlight their gin releases compared to their ‘core business’.
Updated 15 November 2021
- 9148 Gin
- Akayane Green Craft Gin
- Akita Craft Gin
- Alchemiae Gin
- Awa Gin
- Etsu Handcrafted Gin
- Gin Orange
- Innake Gin
- Juju Gin
- Ki No Bi Kyoto Dry Gin (read reviews here + here)
- Kozue Gin
- Kokoro Dry Gin
- Komosa Craft Gin
- Koganei Craft Gin
- Kumano Gin
- Kuro Gin
- Hokkaido Craft Gin
- Masahiro Okinawa Gin
- Mars Wa Bi Gin
- Mizuho Craft Gin
- Nikka Coffey Gin
- Pink Gin Za Japanese Craft Gin
- Roku Gin
- Sakaki Gin
- Sakurao Gin
- The Roar of Innaki Kinmokusei Gin
- Okayama Craft Gin
- Wa Bi Gin
- Yuzugin Gin
Where to buy
If you’re looking to purchase some, check out this specialist online store (note- I’ve not affiliation with this company).
Plus Australian based Shop Ikigai here.
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