The first gin released by Suntory, the name “Roku” is Japanese for “Six” which refers to the six Japanese botanicals used. Sakura flower (cherry blossoms), sakura leaf (cherry leaf), sencha tea (green tea), Gyokuro tea (refined green tea), sanshō pepper, and yuzu are utilized along with eight other traditional gin botanicals. The gin is distilled using a selection of different pot stills. The label is printed with Japanese washi paper. Roku Gin was released in Japan in July 2017, and is available in the UK, Germany, and Australia. As of October 2018, Roku is available in the US.
ALSO HAS BEEN REFERRED TO AS “CONTEMPORARY”, “NEW WESTERN”, “NEW WAVE”, AND “NEW AMERICAN”. THIS STYLE IS NOT LEGALLY DEFINED. IN GENERAL, THIS CATEGORY OF GIN, WHILE IT DOES CONTAIN JUNIPER, PLACES LESS OF AN EMPHASIS ON THIS BOTANICAL. OTHER BOTANICALS NOT CLASSICALLY USED IN LONDON DRY GINS ARE OFTEN UTILIZED AND OFTEN HIGHLIGHT BOTANICALS GROWN IN THE REGION THE GIN IS PRODUCED. MOST PRODUCED AS EITHER LONDON DRY OR DISTILLED GINS.
“On the nose, the initial burst of yuzu is followed closely by buttery pastries and walnuts. Roku eases smoothly on to the palate delivering abundant citrus, butter, toffee, and a hint of juniper, which is joined by pepper to bring a satisfying, spicy finish. A very worthy “protagonist” of the Japanese gin movement.”