Bluecoat American Dry Gin

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Bluecoat 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.



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21 thoughts on “Bluecoat American Dry Gin”

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Well, with Covid-19 and PA state stores (for liquor) closed, I went down to the Distillery in Fishtown to buy Bluecoat, which isn’t just American Gin, but LEGAL gin in Philadelphia! I had never had it before. It doesn’t have the sophistication of Hendricks that I drink unsullied with anything else, simply chilled. (Hendricks is holding its own conversation you simply join when you taste it; it’s that flavorful.) BC won’t be my replacement forever for Beefeater for a Martini either, but it is a solid good choice for a gin and tonic, since its forward citrus note resembles Tanqueray. It’s a bit bold for a Vesper, but it works; you just have to adjust the proportions. I don’t know what makes it “American Dry,” but it does have a great big, “Hi and how are ya” American familiarity on the front of the taste. You taste it and say, “Oh, OK, you’re comin’ in, fella!” It’s a really good product, and beautifully bottled. And the people who make it are still employed! I’m supporting them! It’s my new fridge gin.

  12. I love Bluecoat gin.

    I like all their varieties…the standard American dry gin, in the blue bottle…, the elderberry gin in the clear frosted bottle.., and the caramel colored oak-barrel aged gin.

    Like Roland, I also first ordered it due to liquor stores in Pennsylvania being closed for Covid19. Now, even though the liquor stores are open, I still have all three varieties of gin shipped to my home, regularly.

    My husband and I like to drink these gins neat, so we can enjoy the complex flavor of the drink. We also occasionally mix the two clear varieties with Indian Tonic. Still, IMO, mixing the gin hides and muddles the nuanced complexity of the unadulterated gin.

    This gin is beautifully bottled and I although not a native Pennsylvanian, I cherish the quaint story behind its origin.

    Philadelphia Distilling is a microdistillery. It is the first craft distillery to open in Pennsylvania since before Prohibition

  13. I found out about Bluecoat last year when my son brought us to the distillery. I has since become my favorite

  14. See some haters here but I really like this stuff and so do some of my big “gin guy” friends. I’ll caveat that I haven’t been the worlds biggest gin fan for a while but Bluecoat has started pulling me back in after a bad spring break experience with gin in college 25 years ago (yes, normally everybody’s bad alcohol spring break experience is with tequila. I know I know – I’m weird). This is super easy to drink but note that I don’t like things overly floral at all so this seems way more accessible to me given my tastes. It also doesn’t taste like a damn liquid pinecone. Now I just need to be able to find it in Boston.

  15. I am not a big gin person, but of all the gins I’ve tried, this one has impressed me the most. It is a good stand alone because of its fragrant and its strong citrus taste. I have mixed it with a very dry tonic and found it so refreshing. It’s a great summer drink.

  16. This is the first time I’ve ever disagreed with The Gin is In. This has, to me, a weird chemical/cologne hybrid taste. Not enjoyable.
    I drink my gin neat, or as a dry martini.
    I’ll stick with Uncle Val’s if I’m seeking a citrus flavor.

  17. Personally, I love the more citrus and sweeter gins so I am a big fan of this one! My other favorites are Barr Hill, Gray Whale and Watershed Four Peel, this definitely ranks alongside and at a cheaper price range!