Having secured premises in Kyoto, founders David Croll and Marcin Miller ordered stills from CARL and recruited former distiller at Chase and Cotswold distilleries, Alex Davies.
Co-founder Croll has lived in Japan for more than 20 years and for the last 10 of those has worked with Miller in exporting Japanese whiskies all over the world.
Speaking of the plans for the new distillery, Croll said: “Our plan is simply to make the finest gin possible with a focus on Japanese botanicals. We realise that there are plenty of new entrants in the gin category but are confident that, by offering an exceptional spirit with a genuine point of difference, we will attract discerning consumers.
“Our initial emphasis will be on engaging with the Japanese bartending community and, thereafter, exporting to a small number of markets on allocation only.”
Davies added: “It had to be an amazing offer to lure me away from my last position but I figured this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Kyoto is famed for its cuisine, has an abundance of fruit unique to the area and is the cradle of Japanese craft, from sake-brewing to kimono-weaving, woodblock printing, ceramics and lacquer work. I have stacks of ideas already and can’t wait to start distilling in the most inspiring and forward-thinking city I’ve ever visited.”
The Kyoto distillery is scheduled to open in early 2016.