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Japanese gins become worldwide hits

Global boom in spirit has combined with national reputation for craft alcohol

The Kyoto Distillery’s award-winning gin, Ki No Bi. Within a year of its release, Nikka Whisky Distilling jumped into the gin game with Nikka Coffey Gin and Suntory Spirits introduced Suntory Roku a month later. (Courtesy of The Kyoto Distillery)

TOKYO -- When David Croll and his partners started building The Kyoto Distillery, the first in Japan dedicated exclusively to gin, in 2015, they had no idea that the company would spark a Japanese gin revolution.

Within a year of the release of Ki No Bi, Kyoto Distillery's award-winning gin, Nikka Whisky Distilling jumped into the gin game with Nikka Coffey Gin and Suntory Spirits introduced Suntory Roku a month later.

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