2023 Limited Ed. 06 “Forest Shower”

Hello, this is Sugikawa, YASO distiller.
This month’s gin is a green gin with the aroma of fresh greenery in a bottle.
This is the first gin for which I was in charge of selecting the ingredients, creating the recipe, and blending the gin.

It was April when I was approached by Director to be in charge of the June issue.
At that point, I decided to make a gin using Japanese Sansho pepper, which I had wanted to try for some time, and distilled it in a testing apparatus.
The refreshing aroma and pungent taste of sansho on the tongue were more perfect for the aroma of YASO’s original spirits than I had imagined, and I decided to make a gin with it as the main ingredient.
However, we felt that sansho alone would be boring…we wanted a greener aroma that was unique to this season…
With this in mind, we visited Good Grind Farm in Tanine, Kashiwazaki City, Niigata Prefecture, where we are always grateful for their support, just as the leaves of the sansho pepper were budding.

Mr. Maehata here uses the residue from the distillation of YASO as fertilizer to grow herbs and other plants.

The weather was fine, and the native Hakka sprouts in the river were blooming.
Perhaps because they were new leaves, they smelled stronger than when they were harvested last summer, and it was difficult to remove the fragrance from my hands.

Mr. Maehata led us into the forest, where we found sansho trees growing wild here and there under the cedars, and we were allowed to pick their newly sprouted shoots.
I am from the countryside of Toyama, so I used to pick wild vegetables and nuts in the fields and in the mountains of my parents’ house, and run around in the fields catching frogs and lizards.
I was so glad to be doing this job…” While I was soaking it all in, I was bitten by a caterpillar on my leg.

Later, while I was picking butterbur in a corner of Mr. Maehata’s field, I smelled the aroma of Japanese butterbur, which was like a mint or geranium.
I looked up the fragrance and found that it was a type of herb called kakidooshi, which is native to Japan.
The leaves were familiar to me, but I had never smelled anything like this before. I wondered if it was the strength of the fragrance during the season of fresh greenery.
Mr. Maehata and I said, “This is a good find. We can use it.”and We harvested it.

While picking oyster mushrooms under the sunlight through the trees, I looked up at the fresh green of the trees and saw the sunlight shining on them,
The image of “Limited 06” came to my mind when I saw this ,
“Midorisasu”,mean green scene, and that is how I came up with this gin.

After returning to the distillery, I distilled the green aroma by adding mitsuba leaves and fig leaves from my family home to the prickly ash, kakidooshi, and hakka leaves that I had picked.
I then blended the gin base with juniper berries and a small amount of spices, and tasted it.

And we wanted a more fragrant coniferous element, so we distilled “kaya” nuts as a separate part.

Kaya nut is an evergreen coniferous tree of the yew family, and its berries have a refreshing citrusy flavor with a greenish plum-like aroma, combined with a forest-like aroma unique to coniferous trees, which is exactly the kind of aroma I like.
This time, we used close grain nuts that were collected from Mr. Maehata’s mountain last summer, soaked whole in YASO spirits, and then distilled under reduced pressure.

To further enhance the green aroma, we added thickness to the top and middle notes with a strong citrusy part distilled from a combination of hebesu and yuzu and kuromoji.
Finally, we blended in the original plan of distilling sansho on its own, adjusting the percentage by 0.2%.
By combining the green aroma of wildflowers with the citrusy, juicy, and freshness of sansho, we created a gin that evokes the image of fresh greenery shining in the sunlight, like a ” midorisasu” .

And this time, Forest Shower is an excellent choice to be mixed with Fever Tree Elderflower.
It was so delicious that I couldn’t help but smile while tasting it.

How about chill time surrounded by the aroma of fresh greenery, while listening to the early summer wind and the sound of rain, perfect for the sweaty season?