Named after the blue uniforms of the American militia in the Revolution and distilled in a traditional style copper pot still, Bluecoat is an exceptionally smooth, and very citrus forward American Dry Gin.
Bluecoat American Dry Gin is an aromatic and staunchly American take on the classic dry gin. Named in celebration of the American spirit of independence and rebellion, it was released in the USA in May 2006. Although the full botanical list has not been disclosed, the “secret” blend consists of only certified organic botanicals, including amongst others juniper berries, a selection of American citrus peels, (sweet orange and lemon peel and another unspecified, which we guess to be bergamot based on the flavour), coriander, angelica, chamomile and more.
Bluecoat is distilled in a custom-built, hand-hammered copper pot still. By taking advantage of modern technologies, Master Distiller Robert J. Cassell has married traditional methods with cutting-edge design. A true batch distillation, the process calls for the slow heating of the pot, which allows for maximum separation of alcohols. During a 10h distillation, only the heart of the run is selected where the purest, most flavourful alcohols are chosen.
Bluecoat American Dry Gin to taste…
The final gin will have been distilled 5 times with the spirit then cut using triple filtered water to a final bottling strength of 47% ABV. The result is a gin that opens with an aromatic nose combining piney juniper notes with citrus. The palate itself is also filled with an earthy juniper and a strong citrus presence. Sherbert lemon notes are prominent in particular, and Bluecoat American Gin is one of the most citrus forward gins on the market. The strength of the gin lets itself be known but the overall impression is that of a smooth gin, all-be-it one that is clearly intended for an American market that tends to favour slightly sweeter flavour profiles.
It’s worth mentioning that the distinct blue bottle with it’s golden script compliments the contents nicely, and feels as premium as the liquid it contains too.
The producers, Philadelphia Distilling, started in 2005 and are part of a small but growing movement of craft distillers in the US. This relatively recent surge of micro distillers in the US that has seen the numbers swell to over 800 craft gin makers by 2016, would not be possible without the early products like Bluecoat American Dry Gin, which attracted international recognition. Bluecoat’s work on the brand and its continuous growth are all the more impressive when one considers that they were such a small team for a long time. In more recent times however, Philadelphia Distilling announced a relocation and expansion to a new location, due to open in Spring 2016.
Whilst the departure from the traditional definition of London Dry has been a point of contention amongst discerning gin drinkers the world over (with a few brands creating vodka like gins with little to no traces of juniper), it is interesting to see that Philadelphia Distilling has opted for a slightly different term itself. It must be said, however, that Bluecoat wouldn’t need to explain itself as the juniper is not only noticeably present but also centre stage. Nevertheless, the term they use to describe themselves, American Dry, is well suited to what they have created here. It’s modern, progressive and plays to the citrus forward flavour profiles that have proved popular in the US.
Bluecoat Gin is worth trying if you see it in a bar, so that you can make your own judgement. We’ve always found it both memorable to taste and let’s face it – you are not going to miss it if it’s on the shelf either so easy to keep a beady eye searching for it…
For more information about Bluecoat Gin, visit their website: www.bluecoatgin.com
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