May 25, 2018

Japanese inspired KURO gin to launch at Imbibe Live 2017

KURO, a London Dry Gin which captures the essence of the Japanese Alps, and counts silver birch bark, spruce needles and bamboo activated charcoal among its unique blend of botanicals is to launch at Imbibe Live 2017.

The unique botanical laden spirit will officially launch to the UK hospitality industry at Imbibe Live 2017, an innovative and interactive annual exhibition for the drinks trade, offering on and off trade customers the chance to sample the complex and intriguing new gin.

Following 18 months of intense development, KURO will be unveiled on the Hammonds of Knutsford stand, number A112. Imbibe 2017 takes place on Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th July at Olympia, London. The first batch of KURO will be bottled on Wednesday 5th July and is available for distribution to its growing list of stockists.

Created by Craig Fell and John Thomson, the London Dry Gin was born out of a skiing trip in the Hakuba Valley region of Japan. Upon return, they sought to bottle their epic alpine experience and unleash it in the form of this premium spirit for gin lovers of the UK to enjoy.

Crafted at the renowned Langley Distillery, which has been distilling gin since the 1920s, it boasts an unrivalled range of copper pot stills dating back to the mid 1800s – KURO Gin is distilled in a 300 litre copper still in collaboration with Langley’s master distiller, Rob Dorsett, who has more than delivered on the brief to create a unique and drinkable interpretation of Japan for KURO.

Craig Fell, Managing Director at KURO, commented: “KURO has been 18 months in the making and we’re delighted with the end product. This is something completely different in the world of gin, and I hope to have captured the experience of the Hakuba Valley alpine slopes in every serve of KURO. What started off as an idea during apres-ski has developed through many stages and taste tests, and I’m keen to hear the trade and industry verdict on our unique blend of botanicals.

“The thrill of the slopes, beauty of surroundings, and overall sensory experience has been contained in each of the 12 botanicals, namely the three lead ingredients, silver birch bark, spruce needles and bamboo activated charcoal, which make-up KURO’s core identity as an earthy, aromatic Japanese take on a London Dry Gin, which brings an intriguing alpine freshness to a classic spirit.

“In the next 12 months we aim to secure national listings in premium bars, restaurants and selected retailers across the country, and establish KURO among the British gin drinkers’ repertoire. International stockists are also among our first year targets, and I have an ambition to take KURO back to the place it was conceived, Japan.”

KURO, which translates directly as ‘black’ in Japanese, contains 12 carefully chosen botanicals, including;

1.    Bamboo activated charcoal – creates a smooth and pure spirit;

2.    Silver Birch – brings a hay-like earthiness;

3.    Spruce Needles – builds an intriguing and unmistakable alpine freshness;

4.    Coriander – provides a clear citrus and faint floral aroma;

5.    Orange – lends a burst of citrus freshness;

6.    Orris – floral and sweet smell helps bind botanicals;

7.    Nutmeg – adds a spice and warmth;

8.    Juniper – the essential component, a key part of the distinctive London Dry Gin base;

9.    Angelica – provides earthy and herbal tones;

10. Lemon – provides an intense citrus perfume;

11. Liquorice – creates the soft and smooth mouth feel;

12. Cinnamon – adds warmth and an earthy base.

Tasting Notes

The spirit possesses an aromatic nose originating from its Japanese botanicals, balanced against a classic, complex, London Dry base. Bamboo activated charcoal and silver birch bring a hay-like earthiness to the clear spirit, with spruce needles building an intriguing alpine freshness. The result is a complex gin with a smooth and creamy mouth feel.

Suggested Serve

Fentimans Aromatic Tonic garnished with juniper berries, apple and mint leaves

Japanese elegance bottled

The small batch complex gin is presented in a black misted rectangular bottle, with a single cobalt yellow stripe running down its centre, making it easily identifiable on a crowded bar shelf or equally at home amongst the discerning gin enthusiasts drinks trolley. The rear of the bottle is decorated with a Japanese inspired, contemporary monogram visible through a backlit bottle.

KURO is the first project from Craig Fell who has experience as a designer, building and developing brands for international clients through his own marketing agency. John Thomson has over a decade’s experience in business management.

KURO Gin is produced in small batches of 3000 70cl bottles.

ABV: 43%.


Stocked by Impossible Manchester and Masters of Malt, and available via the company’s own website, Further bars, restaurants, and on and off retailers will be confirmed in the coming months.