Julious Grant, the visionary leader behind Brand House Group, has steered the course of the Japanese artisanal spirits industry in the US over the past two years by producing an unrivalled collection of super-premium spirits from the Land of the Rising Sun under his ICONIC Spirits umbrella.
Grant's commitment to time-honoured traditions and meticulous craftsmanship is evident in every bottle within the ICONIC Spirits portfolio. With fast adoption by top US wine and spirits retailers, distribution partnerships with industry leaders like Southern Glazer's and a quickly expanding presence in restaurants, bars and nightlife venues in most major US markets, he looks forward to what lies ahead in 2024.
Among the most recent ICONIC Spirits debuts is HAIKEN Japanese Handcrafted Vodka, which swiftly claimed the title of Best New Vodka of 2023, according to InsideHook's annual Spill Awards. HAIKEN Original and its two fruit-infused companions, HAIKEN Yuzu and HAIKEN Lychee, are part of Grant's fifth Japanese brand debut and the newest to hit shelves in the US. Like all of Grant's Japanese spirits, HAIKEN features unique and authentic ingredients, crafted from the pure waters flowing from Mt. Katsuragi and meticulously cultivated rice from Hyogo.
"Bringing the best of Japan to the States has been a journey of precision, utilizing exclusive ingredients that many Americans may have heard about but have never been exposed to," said Grant. "In every bottle, I aim to capture the essence of Japanese culture and flavor, creating a truly unique and exquisite experience for discerning consumers. As we look ahead to 2024, I see a year filled with continued growth and innovation, as we introduce more Americans to the rich tapestry of Japan, one sip at a time."
Grant's AWAYUKI Japanese Strawberry Gin combines rare white and pink strawberries from the Nara Prefecture in Japan. The winner in the flavoured gin category at the esteemed 2023 Ultimate Spirits Challenge, AWAYUKI strikes a delicate balance between the sweetness of these luscious strawberries and the juniper and botanicals present in the drink, as well.
The TEITESSA range, a super-premium collection of single-grain Japanese whiskies, stands out with its 30-year expression clinching a Gold Medal at the 2023 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Aged from 15 to 30 years and distilled in the tried-and-true Sato still, a hallmark in time-honoured Japanese distillation processes, TEITESSA offers a more subdued profile with a smooth finish that can elevate any occasion.
Shunka Shuto, another gem in the ICONIC Spirits crown, is not just a whisky, but rather a harmonious ode to nature. It offers a seasonal narrative via four Japanese blended whiskies: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. These expressions capture the essence of each season, from the sweet notes of Spring to the maltiness of Winter. Shunka Shuto was celebrated with a Silver Award at the 2023 San Francisco Spirits Competition for the Autumn Expression.
Completing the ensemble is BIKOKU, a pure malt whisky. Distilled with water from an aquifer fed by the spring snowmelt from Mt. Fuji itself, BIKOKU offers a variety of flavours that range from an attention-grabbing spice to a rich nuttiness to smooth vanilla. The 12-year expression claimed the Whisky of the Year Honor at the 2023 New York International Spirits Competition.
As Grant continues to redefine the narrative of Japanese spirits in the U.S., his ICONIC Spirits stand apart from the competing brands in the industry by introducing consumers to a world that merges unparalleled innovation with authentic Japanese flavours. Each customer's journey with an ICONIC Spirits brand starts with a sip and then voyages into an exploration of exceptional artisanship.
Each of these spirits is available nationwide in the US in select wine and spirits retailers. They are also available on online platforms like Drizly.com and Wine.com, or the beverages can be ordered directly from the ICONIC Spirits website.