Review: Philly’s Patriotic Spirit, Bluecoat Gin

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Available since 2006 and named for the American Army’s uniforms in the Revolutionary War, Bluecoat Gin is a Philadelphia-based distillery that has, as of February, just opened a brand new production facility and tasting room.

Their flagship product (they also make a barrel-aged version) is an American Dry Gin that will appeal to London Dry gin drinkers while offering something (somewhat) completely different. In the true spirit of rebellion and independence, Bluecoat Gin has taken a British style and changed up the flavor, making it wholly American in the process.

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Created in the traditional (and hand-hammered) copper pot stills, Bluecoat Gin is distilled five times and made from a base of four different grains—barley, corn, rye, and wheat. From there, juniper and other herbs (the entire list is kept a secret) are added to fill out the bouquet and flavor profile.

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Appearance: Clear with a little bit of viscosity to it. Has nice legs after a swirl.

Nose: Citrus in the form of orange peel (three types of organic citrus peel are used in the production of Bluecoat gin, including orange and lemon) and juniper come through immediately and these are backed by subtler notes of some of the other herbs in the blend, including a little bit of coriander.

Palate: Citrus and juniper again come through first, followed by what tastes closest to Angostura bitters and cardamom. This immediately brings to mind some of the possibilities for mixing—that is, citrus-forward cocktails that also have a solid, bitter backbone. There are vegetal notes that come through closer to the end that also call to mind the possibility of more garden-style cocktails (as pictured below).

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Penn’s Woods, which contains Bluecoat American Dry Gin, dill, basil, coriander, lemon, and club soda.

Finish: A medium length finish that maintains the herbaceous notes from the palate. Slightly warming on the tongue and gums as the flavor recedes.

Final Thoughts: For the price (around $35), Bluecoat Gin is a steal. When you consider the beautiful blue bottle that it comes in, it might seem like you’re getting away with some trick. A wonderfully flavorful gin with a great presentation, for half the price of many other high quality gins. It’s no joke, thankfully. The product in the bottle is worth every penny, especially if you like bright, citrusy gins.
Bluecoat Gin is 47% ABV.