Where Men Can Become Better Gentlemen


Japanese Gin


The Cambridge Distillery, Histon, Cambridge, England, UK.


The Cambridge Distillery


The Cambridge Distillery was established in Spring 2011, by husband and wife team, Lucy & Will Lowe. Will has over 15 years prior experience in the drinks industry, initially as a bartender and most recently as a teacher for WSET (The Wine & Spirits Education Trust). Based on a hobby, Will started experimenting and before he knew it had started making individual Gins for friends and family, creating the seed to start up and open this business in 2012.

Today their laboratory like distillery is based in a room in their home and is considered to be the smallest distillery in the UK. Besides distilling tailor-made Gins for institutions or small businesses (e.g. restaurants, bars etc.) and for private individuals (like you), they also produce their own range of Gins. The botanical inspiration for these Gins is taken from the surrounding countryside while out walking “Darcy”, their dog. Meanwhile Lucy, with a background in Marketing, helps promote the business.

Their Japanese Gin was launched in the spring of 2014.


The Gin is made using vacuum distilling equipment where lower temperatures are used to capture the freshest flavors. Each botanical is infused (for up to several months) before being distilled individually to create a distillate. These individual distillates are blended to create the final Gin.

This is a small-scale operation only produces around 30 bottles of Gin each week, with each bottle individually screen-printed. The Gin is presented in a rectangular clear glass bottle with black colored text and images on the front. The rear of the bottle has a rising sun style image in light blue/green color, matching the seal and coincidently, the color for Cambridge University e.g. the rowing team (as in the “Oxford/Cambridge boat race).


Distilled Gin.

Alcohol By Volume (ABV)

42% (84 Proof).

Price Range

$$$$$$$$$ - $$$$$$$$$$. Not available in the USA. Try Master of Malt in the UK but be prepared to add another 30% for shipping to destinations outside of the UK.  Alternatively try Selfridges in the UK or direct from The Cambridge Distillery.


"Green shiso perilla". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Green_shiso_perilla.jpg


The exact number of botanicals used is unclear but, displaying a clear Asia influence, they include: cucumber (fresh), juniper berries, pepper (Japanese sanshō), sesame seed, shiso leaf (a culinary herb from the member of the mint family) and yuzo peel (a citrus fruit tasting like and lemon and looking like a small grapefruit).


Despite the name this isn’t made in Japan but refers to the Asian botanicals used, which are popular in Japanese cooking. We like the tagline “London meets Tokyo in a glass” as it sums this Gin up nicely.

"Naval Ensign of Japan" by David Newton, uploader was Denelson83 - 自衛隊法施行令 and File:DSP Z 8702 C.pdf. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Naval_Ensign_of_Japan.svg


Tasting Notes

On the nose are floral notes with tropical citrus and spicy pepper (usually identified with coriander) plus a hint of piney juniper. On the palate this smooth spirit has a savory taste with citrus, spicy pepper, juniper and hints of green freshness (cucumber). On the smooth finish is a cool savory green herbal flavor with citrus and just a hint of nuttiness (sesame seed).

Said to provide a sense of “umami” to the palate, it is certainly a savory style Gin (think Gin Mare) with familiar London Dry aspects of citrus and pepper. It is softly smooth and very drinkable neat or with some ice. Unfortunately we did not have a large sample to try this in mixed drinks but we are told it matches well with Sake to make a Saketini and suspect it will make a good Martini or Dirty Martini (with an olive or possibly apple garnish). We have also heard this works in a Gin and Tonic where an apple garnish is recommended (or a radish!) and would be interested to see what it comes out like with Fever Tree Mediterranean tonic water. A very well balanced and nicely conceived elegant Gin, with scope for pairing with Fish and Japanese food dishes.

This was a delightful Gin to try and we can’t wait to try more in the future. We have no hesitation in recommending this Gin for people to try themselves and will gladly add to this recommendation once it’s versatility and impact with cocktails has been verified with suitable sampling i.e. lots more drinking required!

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