A brilliantly well crafted Japanese gin from the Sakurao distillery, found in the fateful city of Hiroshima.
The company that produces this spirit, Chugoku Jozo, has been around for over a hundred years, but they only recently began distilling. Whisky drinkers might know them from their Togouchi blend, which is aged in an abandoned rail tunnel.
This gin makes use of distinctively Japanese ingredients for an unusual and delicious profile. One interesting ingredient is Hinoki (Japanese Cypress), a popular ornamental plant in Japan which possesses delicate fragrant aromas, indeed, it is often used as an incense in its home nation. Another intriguing botanical is Sweet Summer Orange, which is actually intensely bitter, and grows natively in Hiroshima. Aka Shiso, or Red Perilla, a herb used in the gin, is another ingredient unlikely to be known to Western drinkers – it has a distinctive spicy aroma.
Other Japanese botanicals include: ginger, dai dai (bitter orange), yuzu, Hiroshima green lemon, green tea and navel orange. 5 further botanicals, including juniper and coriander, are imported for distillation.
The result is an intensely citrusy and fragrant gin, with notes of mandarin zest, sweet orange, lemon, earthy spice, zingy ginger, pine, resinous juniper, bitter orange rind, yuzu and aromatic green herbs.
This gin cuts a line between the modern style of citrus and herb-forward gins, and the traditional juniper heavy spirit very nicely indeed.
Would do well in classic citrusy gin cocktails such as the White Lady.