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Beam Suntory has confirmed it will develop a new gin brand in Japan as it looks to plug the gap for a premium offering in its portfolio.  

Beam Suntory has moved to create a gin portfolio with the development of premium brand Roku

Beam Suntory has moved to create a gin portfolio with the development of premium brand Roku

Roku, which is set to be released in Japan in July, will be made at the firm's Osaka distillery. A spokesperson for the company told just-drinks the launch will focus initially on Japan, while Beam Suntory is "carefully evaluating other opportunities" to introduce Roku in other markets. 

The gin will carry an SRP of JPY4,000 (US$35) per bottle. 

Last December, Beam Suntory took a controlling interest in UK-based craft gin distiller Sipsmith. The firm also owns the Larios and Gilbey's gin brands. Beam Suntory describes Larios as 'standard', Sipsmith as 'super-premium' and new gin Roku as 'premium'. 

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"Premium gin is a highly attractive category, and is seeing sustained growth in markets across the world," Beam Suntory said. "All three products - Roku, Sipsmith and Larios - offer distinctive taste profiles and provenance stories, and they also compete in different markets and at different price points. With Roku, we saw an opportunity to leverage the distillation and blending skills of the House of Suntory to create a delicately balanced, distinctly Japanese premium gin."

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