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Artisanal Japanese gin 135° East launches

A new Japanese gin is aiming to pay homage to the country's rich botanical bounty and a period of creative discovery for the nation.

The artisanal 135° East Gin harks back to the Taisho period - Japan's answer to the Roaring Twenties - with bold packaging and an exotic botanical mix including yuzu, sansho pepper, shiso leaf, angelica and chrysanthemum.

In blending classic western gin ingredients with Japanese botanicals, master distiller and blender Kimio Yonezawa claims to have invented a new style of gin with 135° East, which he has christened Hyogo Dry Gin. 

All the plants are sourced from local producers and distilled separately before being blended using vacuum distillation to intensify the gin's fiery flavours. It takes its name from the 135th medirian, a longitudinal line chosen in 1888 to mark Japan's official standard time.

Kimio Yonezawa said: "I wanted to make a gin with a strong personality that would surprise gin lovers with new taste sensations. My inspiration came from the spirit of openness, insatiable curiosity and creative abundance in Japan during the Taisho period, which enthused a whole generation. During that time Japanese people were passionate about everything from the West, from fashion and jazz to European-style cafés and feminism."

135° East Gin is available through The Whisky Exchange, Master of Malt and Ocado.

23 September 2020 - Bethany Whymark