January 1, 2009

Bluecoat American Dry Gin

Bill Dowd photo

This is a product of Philadelphia Distilling, made in a copper pot still with triple filtered water and a proprietary botanical recipe.

Bluecoat American Dry Gin

This is another formidable entry in the resurgent gin category, packaged in a beautiful blue, embossed bottle with a wooden stopper that give it an old-fashioned, enticing appearance.

I gave it the usual gin taste test -- straight and in a traditional martini. It passed with flying colors in both ways, and a follow-up tasting with several other people met with uniformly high marks.

Bluecoat is a 94-proof concoction with the distinctive, earthy gin flavor of organic juniper berries, but noticeably balanced with notes of citrus, spice and florals. Its smoothness is evident, thanks to batch distillation that requires very slow heating of the pot, allowing for maximum separation of alcohols and removal of impurities. That is particularly apparent in the straight-taste trial, and also aids in the mixing with Noilly Pratt dry vermouth for a superb martini.

Suggested retail price: $28 for the 750ml bottle.

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