“Get the Kinobi Gin from Changi,” a friend of Chad’s told him when he found out we were going to Singapore for a quick business trip.
Well, it was a business trip for Chad and indulging in the Great Singapore Sale for me, eheh.
That said, credit card in tears, we went home with our new little baby and decided to try it out to see what it was all about.
First, a little trivia: By definition, gin is technically categorised as a neutral flavoured spirit, owing to the fact that it’s clear in colour and is flavoured by juniper berries. There are three categories in gin: London Gin (where the spirit is re-distilled with juniper berries, but no flavourings are allowed to be added after), Distilled Gin (which is the same, except flavourings are allowed to be added after post-distillation), and Inexpensive Gin (which is technically flavoured by essences).
That said, it’s what makes all gin GIN, but each gin tends to get their distinctive individuality (i.e., why each brand of gin tastes different) through the following:
- Blend of botanicals (botanicals are substances from plants used as an additive or flavoring)
- Source of botanicals
This leads me to what makes Kinobi (to be strict about it, KI NO BI) Dry Gin unique: Their botanicals are sourced largely from the picturesque Kyoto region in Japan (famous for beautiful historical sites and the soft waters of Fushimi used in making Sake). They include:
- Yellow Yuzu (a type of citrus fruit that looks a little like a lemon but tastes like a tart grapefruit) from the Kyoto prefecture
- Hinoki Wood Chips (Japanese Cypress)
- Gyokuro Tea from the Uji region
- Green SanchŌ (Japanese peppercorn berries)
I know this all sounds a little (a lot!) technical, but as with all beverages, the important thing to ask is: Is it delicious? I find that it is comparable to many premium gins. The texture is silky smooth, the flavours are quite integrated and unique, and as with Japanese whiskies, I think that the makers of this gin share a similar philosophy of creating a spirit that is incredibly restrained.
Have you ever tried this out? Let me know what you think. Cheers!
Note: I did the side-by-side comparison with a London gin, both with a splash of water.