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 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.
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 flavorful alcohols are chosen.
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. The strength of the gin lets itself known but the the overall impression is that of a smooth gin, all-be-it one that is clearly intended for an American market that tends to favor slightly sweeter flavor profiles. The distinct blue bottle with it’s golden script compliments the contents nicely and feels as premium as the liquid it contains.
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 (similar to the micro-brewing revolution of the early 90’s) is starting to make its mark and products like Bluecoat American Dry Gin are attracting international recognition. Their work on the brand and its continuous growth are all the more impressive when one considers that they are a team of less than ten people.
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 that Bluecoat wouldn’t need to explain itself as the juniper is not only noticeably present but also center stage, the term they use to describe themselves – an American Dry is a welcome relief for purists and more apt than Aviation Gin’s “New Western Dry” term, which to anyone in up and coming gin markets is at best a bit vague. One could also suggest that in the long term it will probably make seeking legal protection (like Plymouth Gin’s appelation d’origine controlee) easier too.