The case of Bluecoat, the “American Dry Gin” is an interesting one. It comes in a bright blue bottle and is sure to stand out on your shelf— one might say it is beaming with American pride. It’s made in Philadelphia and has a four grain base which includes corn, wheat, barley and rye. But really, all of this information isn’t going to help you. Let me some up this gin in one word: Citrus.
You can taste the prickly warmth of the Juniper, but it is above all a citrusy gin. The strongest tasting notes are orange, orange, and maybe hits of lemon and lime. There’s also the slightest taste of clove or anise in there too, but in drinking and mixing this should be treated as a citrus gin above all. In determining whether or not Bluecoat would be appropriate in a cocktail, one should ask, “is citrus the primary flavor of this drink?” I’ve made a flow chart to help the sophisticated bartender determine how to best use this gin in their arsenal.
This is another gin that could help bring new fans to “mother’s ruin.” It is smooth, fragrant, and very drinkable. Where I think Bluecoat may come up short is appealing to the palette of traditional gin drinkers. It doesn’t mesh quite right with tonic or vermouth, leaving it the odd man out of the conversation when it comes to classic cocktails. However, it is second to none in a tom collins or gimlet.
Bluecoat is a gin that will appeal to a wide range of gin drinkers; however, it hasn’t completely won me over. I do like to keep a bottle in me cabinet for the drinks it does best, but is not my gin of choice for an evening cocktail.
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I did a flight of new American gins at a local cocktail bar and Bluecoat was the winner to my taste. It's like a smoother, more flavorful Beefeaters. I think it makes a great martini with a laid-back vermouth, like Martini & Rossi. My wife generally doesn't go for gin, but loves this. It's a matter of personal taste. Certainly worth a try.