Love Drinks says Konnichiwa to whisky
Love Drinks has entered the Japanese drinks sector for the first time after taking on the UK distribution for the spectacularly authentic Ikigai Collection.
The move will see Love Drinks initially focus on Japanese whisky before rolling out additional Japanese brands from the collection.
The Kurayoshi Distillery’s ‘The Matsui Single Malt’, ‘The Kurayoshi Pure Malt’ and ‘The Tottori Blended’ ranges, are the first Japanese gems to be made available to the UK hospitality sector.
Curated by BBC Spirits, the eclectic Ikigai Collection features a veritable feast of luxury Japanese drinks including whiskies from The Kurayoshi Distillery, rums from Helios Distillery, gins from Etsu and the unique La Tomato, Yuzu and Okinawa Liqueurs to name a few.
Samantha Burke, Managing Director of Love Drinks, commented: “The Japanese whisky sector has been one of the most exciting internationally in the last few years and there are definitely more UK consumers delving into the category, as many adapt a more discerning, quality over quantity approach to drinking. The Kurayoshi Distillery has an incredible portfolio to suit and excite all tastes so we’re looking forward to growing the brand and the enthusiasm for luxury Japanese drinks as a whole in the UK.”
Greg Kimber, Director for UK & Ireland at BBC Spirits, said: “We’ve always been impressed with the Love Drinks business, portfolio and team so it is now great to be part of the family and be linking up to drive interest and demand in some of the finest Japanese drink products available. We’re confident this launch is just the springboard as we look to showcase some of Japan’s most innovative and alluring drink producers in the coming years.”
The Kurayoshi Distillery
Located in the city of Kurayoshi in the Tottori prefecture, the Kurayoshi Distillery has been producing Japanese spirits since 1910. Success with Sake, Shōchū and brandy enabled this micro-distillery to successfully move into whisky distillation in 2015 and further develop its unique expertise in creatively combining tradition with innovation. Carefully sourcing and utilising the finest ingredients, the distillery’s proximity to Mount Daisen enables it to draw upon fresh volcanic water from the mountain’s generous snowmelt.
The Matsui Single Malt range
A trio of special single malts from the Kurayoshi Distillery, matured in unique wooden barrels and packaged beautifully to showcase Japanese culture. The range includes:
- The Matsui Mizunara Cask – a Japanese single malt matured in the rare Mizunara wood that takes 200 to 300 years to fully mature and offers exceptional, unique aromatic qualities.
- The Matsui Sakura Cask – a Japanese single malt matured in casks made from the country’s world-famous and iconic cherry trees.
- The Matsui The Peated – a Japanese single malt with special attention paid to the malted barley for peating and American oak casks for maturation.
- ‘The Matsui Single Malt’ packaging designs pay tribute to Japanese culture and its ‘Ukiyo-e’ artform. Artist Katsushika Hokusai’s ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’ is showed on The Peated, his view of ‘Umezawa in Sagami Province’ was chosen to represent The Mizunara Cask and the artist Kikukawa Eizan’s portrait of women walking through a Sakura meadow was selected for The Sakura Cask.
The Kurayoshi Pure Malt selection
With the distillery paying special attention to the blending of pure malts and utilising the underground water of Mount Daisen in the process, the Kurayoshi Pure Malt selection showcases five supreme blended Japanese malt whiskies, which have been aged in different wooden barrels for different time periods.
The range includes:
- Kurayoshi Pure Malt – Matured in American oak casks for more than three years, this pure malt has a soft, refreshing aroma of malted barley.
- Kurayoshi Sherry Cask offers up the ripe fruit and chocolate aromas that come from more than three years of ageing in sherry casks.
- Kurayoshi Pure Malt Whisky 8 YO reflects maturation in American white oak casks, carefully selected for their rich aromas and depth of flavour.
- Kurayoshi Pure Malt Whisky 12 YO is matured in American white oak casks for at least 12 years. Well balanced with a rich aroma of perfumed hazelnut.
The Tottori Blended Duo
A duo of blended whiskies made at the Kurayoshi Distillery by combining Japanese whiskies and then aging them using artisan techniques in special barrels. Great for highballs and cocktails, the range includes:
- The Tottori Blended Whisky (43% abv) – a blend of three Japanese whiskies from across Japan aged in toasted American oak barrels with spring water from Mount Daisen. Perfect in a classic Highball
- The Tottori Bourbon Barrel (43%) – a blend of Japanese whiskies rested in ex-bourbon American casks for 3 years and bottled non chill-filtered with natural spring water.
About Love Drinks
Love Drinks is an independent import, distribution and marketing company for premium quality spirits, liqueurs and craft beers. Their portfolio represents quality, craft-distilled and family-owned brands that have a rich provenance, heritage and history.
Founded by Kirsty Loveday BEM in 2007, Love Drinks represent Abelha Organic Cachaça, The Bitter Truth Cocktail Range of Bitters and Liqueurs, Conker Distillery, Einstök Icelandic Craft Beers, Goslings Bermuda Rums, Hernö Gins, The Kurayoshi Distillery, Pedrino Spritz, White Heron Drinks and the Recuerdo and ZIGNUM® Mezcal Brands.
Love Drinks holds the silver accreditation for Investors in People and pioneered Love Well – an initiative to help the health and wellbeing of people working in the hospitality industry. The company was named Drinks Business Drinks Distributor of the Year in 2019.
For more information visit www.lovedrinks.com or follow on Facebook – @lovedrinksltd – Instagram – @love_drinks_ltd or Twitter – @Love_Drinks. To speak to someone, call 0207 501 9630.