Japanese gin brand 135°EAST is launching in a variety of international markets, including the United States. The move comes after the distillery joined the Marussia Beverages portfolio.
135°EAST will launch in a total of seven international markets this month: the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Ukraine, and Russia.
Master distiller and blender Kimio Yonezawa produces the “Hyogo” Gin in small batches at his family-owned Kaikyo Distillery in Hyogo Prefecture. To create the Gin, Kimio blends classic London Dry gin with Japanese botanicals and finishes it off with some of his distilled Junmai sake. The brand is named after the 135th meridian east, a line of longitude chosen in 1888 to mark Japan’s official standard time.
“I wanted to make a gin with a strong personality that would surprise gin lovers with new taste sensations,” said Yonezawa. “Following extensive research into over 50 different options, I selected five new Japanese botanicals like yuzu and sansho pepper to bring a distinctive Oriental flavour to 135°EAST. I also decided to add a touch of my Junmai sake to the blend as not only is rice at the heart of Japan’s cuisine and history, but Junmai sake is made from Yamadanishki rice, known as the king of rice. Once distilled, it has a typical soft sweetness which gently envelops and complements the Japanese botanicals.”
Marussia Beverages, meanwhile, was founded in 2004 and it now has subsidiaries in 12 countries, with a turnover of more than $290 million last year. Its brands include Mamont vodka, Mozart liqueurs, Austrian Schlumberger sparkling wines, Château Mukhrani, Tamada and Visimino from Georgian wines, Scotch brands Mossburn and Torabhaig Scottish, Mezan rum, Akashi-Tai sake and Hatozaki Japanese whisky.
“We’re really excited to launch 135°EAST as part of our Japanese spirits portfolio, it will sit alongside our existing artisan sake brand, Aksahi-Tai,” said Sarah Gandy, head of marketing for Marussia Beverages UK. “135°EAST is a unique and unconventional style of gin, which will give the brand much needed stand out in the crowded UK gin market.”
135°EAST Gin is currently on sale for £35 ($45 USD) per 70cl bottle.