Tatsumi Distillery is an incredibly unique distillery that was established by Shohei Tatsumi as a one-man operation in 2017. The distillery was opened in a renovated ironwork building and is located on a bank of the Innaki River in the heart of Gifu Prefecture, a quaint town at the foot of the Japanese Alps.
From handling the raw materials to the distillation, this is an entirely one-man operation. Brewing techniques remain true to traditional practices and materials, using a copper pot still and a Kabutogama wooden still to create superb gin and absinthe. The Kabutogama still is a distillation method that was originally developed in the Edo Period and was widely used until the late 19th century.
Tatsumi has garnered a small cult-like following amongst spirit enthusiasts in Japan. This is largely due to his unique products – from Dandelion Chocolate Gin to Wasabi Gin. His products are different partly because they use shochu (Japanese distillate) as the base spirit in the production process rather than a diluted neutral spirit as per the norm.
The other factor that differentiates Tatsumi Distillery is Tatsumi's collaborations with local farmers to create unprecedented choices for his products (e.g. lavender absinthe, strawberry gin with jasmine and green tea). Tatsumi consults local farmers to see what is in season and if they happen to have some to share with him to use for his distillates. Thanks to these collaborations, Tatsumi has managed to create extremely rare concoctions while helping out local businesses.