Kyoya Distillery has captured the sunniness of Miyazaki prefecture (in Kyushu, the most southwesterly of Japan’s four main islands) with a warm, citrus-forward arrangement of botanicals: local hyuganatsu (a citrus that’s like a cross between a grapefruit and lemon), the lime-like fruit hebesu, and golden kumquats. Kyushu is traditionally known for its shochu and Kyoya Distillery is, in fact, a revered shochu producer founded in 1834. For Hinata, the company naturally uses shochu as the base spirit, with botanicals added for the second distillation.
On the nose, you’ll notice the refreshing character of juniper. The gin is softly aromatic, with warmth coming not just from the citrus but from cardamom and camomile as well. The finish, on the other hand, is a gentle spicy twist derived from a varied mix of other botanicals including fennel, black sesame, cedar, ginger and cinnamon. Skip the tonic and add a splash of soda water to appreciate the full, delicate spectrum of this alluring gin.