Bluecoat American Dry Gin

Bluecoat American Dry GinBluecoat American Dry Gin launched in 2006 at the very beginning of the Gin Renaissance. Philadelphia Distilling was the first craft distillery to open in Pennsylvania since before prohibition. Ponder that for a second. Especially those of you from outside of the U.S, just what a deleterious effect prohibition had on American creativity.

So like a Revolution. Bluecoat American Dry Gin emerged with a bold flavor profile and began to stake a claim that this gin was American. American Dry.

The gin is distilled in a custom build copper pot still with organic juniper berries. As for the distinct citrus flavor they say they use  American “citrus peels not found in most gins.”

Tasting Notes

Woody, slightly resinous juniper on the nose, with bitter orange, Meyer Lemon and Coriander. Coming back to this years later, the nose is more classic than I had initially thought it was. It may be a result of just how much change has happened in the gin category in the last decade.

The palate does have plenty of bright citrus. I’m getting ruby red grapefruit, a pleasant juniper note with a strong angelica component, giving it an earthy, spicy side with less pine. Mid-palate there’s a slight cardamom-like note, and then some sweet orange rind. The finish is medium length with a pleasant warmth.

Just as Hendrick’s seems less novel, Bluecoat American Dry Gin seems less citrus-bomb compared to its peers than it did ten years ago.


One of my favorite ways to enjoy Bluecoat American Dry Gin is with either blueberry jam or a tart bitter orange marmalade in a Jam and Gin or Breakfast Martini. The citrus notes absolutely sing when combined with the brightness of jam.

But for a starker contrast, try it in a Vesper or Martini for a citrus forward gin that still has a citrus touch, even if you garnish with an olive rather than a twist. It’s like the best of both worlds.

Bluecoat also I think makes a good Gin and Tonic and Gin and Juice, but adding too much citrus can overpower it. Don’t go grab a can of Hansen’s Tonic, for example with citrus flavor added, and then combine it for your G&T. It works better with Q and a slight garnish of lime.


It’s been around for awhile, but contemporary gin fans should take a closer look if they haven’t yet. Bluecoat American Dry Gin’s citrus-forward perspective has aged well, and it doesn’t seem as adventurous or unusual.

Bartenders will like Bluecoat’s versatility behind the bar as it works in a number of cocktails for contemporary gin fans. Classic gin fans may want to take a closer look if they tried it years ago and give it another chance. Time, if anything, has brought Bluecoat back to the center, and seems to be on track to be a modern classic.


13 thoughts on “Bluecoat American Dry Gin

  • November 30, -0001by Pasul

    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.

  • November 30, -0001by Drick Heitman

    Had this recently when the bartender ran out of Beefeaters for my martini. Very pleasantly surprised. Seemed to have a rounder taste than the Bombay Sapphire I have at home and loved the citrus notes. Also, as someone who grew up in Philly, I loved the story. Definitely give it a try!

  • December 24, 2013by R

    Perfect maybe for a Corpse Reviver #2.

  • December 3, 2015by owen holmseth

    my personal opinion – but this is a horrible gin. I was suckered in by a liquor store rep who is the same person that kept telling me if I kept buying bourbon from their store I would get william Larue Weller BTAC. I AM AN IDIOT. While i am by no doubt bitter over the BTAC…. which i bought black market. I am almost ( not even completely) upset over this pick…. REALLY REALLY BAD Gin. Go for monkey 47, Hendricks, or MY FAVORITE: Uncle Val’s. I do tend to like botanical though. You will be a gentlemen with Hendricks, a fanatic with Monkey, and a daily drinker with Uncle val’s… good luck.

  • January 23, 2018by Anonymous

    Couldn’t disagree more with Owen

  • April 26, 2018by Bill

    My favorite go-to Gin. Makes the best gin and tonic for overall balance of flavors. Just enough juniper, and a smooth citrus overtone. I make a gin & tonic with kumquats, rather than lime, and this gin really makes the drink.

  • August 28, 2018by Robert Frank

    I really like the Bluecoat and it has become my favorite over Hendricks and Sapphire. Makes a great Martini and I should know I drink a few. I love the balance in the product.

  • June 27, 2019by Alex

    No question, one of the worst gins I have ever tasted. Tastes like an old woman’s perfumed bathwater after a good soak. I will say this, though. I drink gin on the rocks and occasionally in a martini with barely more than a teaspoon of vermouth. I am a purist for the flavor of straight up gin. My favorite is Tang 10, love Hendricks and absolutely hate Bombay Sapphire. I think the later would be more useful as lighter fluid.

  • July 8, 2019by Fran

    Got to agree with Owen, Alex and Anonymous. Has a greasy tongue feel and tastes like it was aged in an old scotch barrel.

  • August 26, 2019by N

    This is a solid newish gin for actual gin drinkers (not flavored vodka). My benchmark is Beefeater. In a 4:1 martini with Dolin vermouth, relative to Beefeater, Bluecoat is more bitter, with a stronger orange component and slightly dialed down juniper. It’s basically like having orange bitters already in the bottle. If you like an old schoolish martini with orange bitters you should give it a try.

  • September 13, 2019by Michael

    Heard about this from the following

    where Greg Best recommends “equal parts Campari, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, and Bluecoat gin”. We tried this combination and really like it.

  • October 4, 2019by Bob P

    Typically do not have gin as a stand-alone (shot) but compared with others, I’d prefer it this way. Easy to savor on it’s own

  • October 4, 2019by Bob

    Don’t usually savor gin as a stand alone (shots) but wouldn’t waste it mixed. Loved the smoother creamier texture as a stand alone.

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