Bluecoat American Dry Gin

Cocktails and Spirits with Paul Clarke

Weekly insight into the world of drinks with Paul Clarke from the Cocktail Chronicles and Imbibe magazine.

20071226bluecoat.jpgGin is typically thought of as a British tipple, and no wonder—take a stroll through your local liquor emporium, and you’ll see the gin labels are full of derby hats, regal symbols, uniformed Beefeaters, and the face of Queen Victoria. But while “London Dry” still has a near monopoly on the market, gins from the New World are freshening up the venerable category.

One of the newest and most acclaimed gins to arrive is the Philadelphia-distilled Bluecoat. Described as an “American Dry” gin, Bluecoat uses organic juniper, citrus peels and other botanicals to create a crisp, bright spirit. More herbal and citrusy than more juniper-heavy gins such as Tanqueray, the pot-distilled Bluecoat is an addition to the growing category of “New Generation” gins, a group that includes other highly acclaimed spirits such as Hendrick’s and Aviation.

When I first sampled Bluecoat neat, I was taken aback by the pronounced citrus note. But returning to the spirit, both neat and mixed in a Martini, I’ve come around to its charms: Bluecoat is certainly different from the typical dry gin, but its distinctive mix of citrus, juniper and spice finds a great partner in a decent vermouth; while I haven’t tried Bluecoat in a Vesper yet, I imagine the mix would work quite well.

Bluecoat is gradually expanding into markets across the country. Who's tried it? And what are your thoughts on Bluecoat?