FRANCE – Pernod Ricard, the French producer of wines and spirits, has signed an agreement for a significant investment in KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin, one of the fastest growing gin brand in Japan produced by The Kyoto Distillery.

Pernod Ricard said that the investment in The Kyoto Distillery will be used primarily to build a new, state-of-the-art, distillery to meet the growing demand for KI NO BI ultra-premium gin.

KI NO BI is a small-batch, artisanal gin distilled at Japan’s first dedicated gin distillery, built in Kyoto in 2014.

The brand is made from a high-quality rice spirit and Japanese botanicals such as yuzu, lemon, sansho pepper, ginger and gyokuro tea.

The company explains that KI NO BI has been carefully crafted to ensure perfect harmony between its various botanicals and its Kyoto origins creating a recognisable dry gin flavour with a Japanese accent,

As was the case with previous successful partnerships such as Monkey 47 ultra-premium gin, Smooth Ambler West Virginian whiskey, Del Maguey mezcal or Rabbit Hole bourbon, Pernod Ricard is joining forces with passionate entrepreneurs: David Croll, Noriko Kakuda Croll and Marcin Miller.

The three entrepreneurs will remain fully invested in the business and will work closely with their Pernod Ricard in developing distribution channels worldwide.

Driven by the rise of mixology, the beverage company said that the ultra-premium gin category has been experiencing uninterrupted dynamism.

KI NO BI will immediately join The Pernod Ricard Gin Hub and reinforce its stable of international brands such as Beefeater, Plymouth, Malfy and Monkey 47 to optimise the growth opportunity in ultra-premium gin, the French firm said.  

Thanks to Pernod Ricard’s extensive distribution network, the company notes that this strategy is yielding positive results as sales of the Group’s specialty brands have been growing at a double-digit rate, well above the industry average.

David Croll, CEO of The Kyoto Distillery, stated: “We are delighted that Pernod Ricard appreciates the unique qualities of Japan’s first ultra-premium gin which we have created with the support and cooperation of Kyoto’s cultural and agricultural communities.”

Marcin Miller, Chairman of The Kyoto Distillery, added: “Having been fortunate enough to work with Pernod Ricard in the past, I am extremely enthusiastic about the wealth of expertise and experience that will ensure this strategic partnership will deliver great success for KI NO BI.”

“We are thrilled to welcome this one-of-a-kind brand to our portfolio,” commented Alexandre Ricard, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Pernod Ricard.

“KI NO BI’s unique origins and taste profile make it a perfect complement to The Gin Hub’s extensive stable of brands. I am excited for Pernod Ricard to be part of its ongoing development.”