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Monday, January 15, 2007

Bluecoat Gin Review

The bottle of Bluecoat Gin arrived the other day and I ripped in to it with vigor. My newfound love for Gin has become boundless and when I get a new one I put it ahead of the line of all the other stuff that I still need to try and review.

I was like a kid on Christmas Day, however I was heavily medicated and had to patiently bide my time until I was no longer popping pills in order to try it out lest my liver implode leaving a dark, black hole in my innards of Mickey Mantle proportions.

How's it look?
The bottle comes pretty much as advertised. It's a simple blue bottle with Bluecoat on it and a coat of arms. The cap is an easy-to-pull cork that did not make me do any sort of contortion in order to get it open. Thank you Bluecoat Gin!

What's it smell like?
One word: OhMyGod. This is far and away the best smelling gin I have ever put my nostrils to. The juniper and floral notes were amazing and did not take any time to get used to. Most gins require two whiffs: One to get used to it, one to actually smell it. The smell of Bluecoat was immediately loved and my nose wanted to breathe it in as it's only source of oxygen.

I wish they would make candles of this scent so I could buy them and burn them. I wish they would make a cologne of this scent so I can smell Bluecoat Gin soaked at all times. I quickly ordered the servants to prepare me a bath of the stuff then went on to order them whipped when they did not respond. Once I realized I did not have servants I immediately went on Amazon.com to get some but found them to be on back order.

Does it taste as good as it smells?
This gin is a must have for gin lovers. I would not recommend it as a crossover gin like the DH Krahn but it's not as "ginny" as the previous reviewed Bulldog Gin. It is an absolutely perfect gin that does not overpower but gives you a unique taste and a small chill as it goes down your throat. It is light on the tongue and very, very easy to drink. The finish felt like warm butter and stayed on my tastebuds for quite a while.

The drink stayed drinkable as I got to the bottom of the glass and it did not wear on my tastebuds with each drink being as good as the first. The only thing that frustrated me was that I could not make another one quickly enough.

What's the bottom line?
Like you have to ask. Bluecoat Gin is far and away one of the better gins out there and should be stocked by any bar manager or as a gin to have on hand at home. It's complexity is not lost on any tastebuds and it leaves you wanting more at every turn.

Bluecoat Gin - $24.99 for 750ml

17 Comments:

Rick said...

I completely agree on all fronts. Bluecoat is simply divine. Finally, it pays off to live in Pennsylvania!

Dr. Bamboo said...

Rick, I love your site and agree with your opinions more often than not, but on this one I have to respectfuly disagree.

I bought a bottle recently and thought it was simply awful. I made a Martini with it, and couldn't bring myself to finish it.

Maybe Bluecoat works better in more heavily mixed drinks. Being a gin fan, I'd love to give it the benefit of the doubt, but I really had a hard time with it. Any suggestions?

Rick Dobbs said...

Dr. Bamboo:

I can see why some people wouldn't love Bluecoat, I don't believe it's a gin that's for everyone and it has characteristics that could turn certain palates off.

It's hard to give a suggestion without you telling me what exactly was wrong when you had the Bluecoat. That'll give me some direction...

Dr. Bamboo said...

My overall impression was that I was drinking something that smelled and tasted like my grandmother's perfume.

(I suppose that's a crude way of saying that I found the aromatics & botanicals WAY too overpowering.) ;-)

In general, I like my gin to have a crisp "medicinal bite" as someone once put it. For reference, the brands I tend to like are Bombay, Broker's, and Daresbury's "Q".

I guess if I had to isolate what turned me off, it would be the flowery, organic flavors that seemed to overwhelm the clean flavor that I consider characteristic of gin. When I tasted Bluecoat, I immediately thought, "I bet this is what the inside of a florist's dumpster tastes like."

Harsh, I know. It's just that I can't remember the last time I had such a negative reaction.

Rick Dobbs said...

Dr. Bamboo:

Well, I definitely can't help you like the Bluecoat then, unless you douse it in Tonic. :)

You wouldn't like the Bulldog either, I'd highly recommend the DH Krahn, based on what you told me, it's the perfect gin for you and you'll love it for life.

Dr. Bamboo said...

Thanks Rick- I remember reading your review of the Krahn and thinking, "Yep, yep, yep, this sounds like one for me!"

Maybe someday I'll warm up to the Bluecoat. I *really* wanted to like it...especially after I read all the neat stuff about the people who make it and their process.

Let's hope this gin resurgence continues!

Anonymous said...

Bluecoat is awesome! I love to have it Martini style. It's so nice to support a small US company that makes such a worthy premium product.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap, whats wrong with you, have you ever had gin before?
I was just given a bottle of Bluecoat and at best it's so-so.
If you want gin, try Tangueray or Bombay.

Rick Dobbs said...

The very fact that you're recommending Tanqueray and Bombay as the best gins pretty much disqualifies you from giving any alcohol advice to anyone. Ever.

Jim said...

I'm with Dr. Bamboo on this one, a simply awful gin. The first sip I had tasted very strongly of anise. After a few more sips I decided that anise wasn't quite right, but whatever that flavor is it is strong and bad. I can't describe it, other then "nauseating."

Anonymous said...

Hey all, first time poster here. I just wanted to say I loved the review and agree with most of it. I think Dr. Bamboo is missing the point of this gin. It is an AMERICAN dry gin and has little in common with London Dry's. If you think of it this way and give it a try with an open mind in a drink that compliments it you may just find a new favorite gin. Try it in a pink gin or G&T with a slice of orange in place of a lime.

I LOVE this stuff!

Anonymous said...

The issue here is how dry you want your gin. Classic London gins are very dry, and blue coat (the opposite of red coat, what the brits war when the occupied Philadelphia) sets out to be a distinctly non-london type gin. As such it much dryer than gordons or beef eater, and uses more fruits (orange peel in lieu of dry orange peel) in its distilling.

Michael said...

I'm quite a fan of good gins and have over 20 different kinds on hand right now... although that includes quite a few that I wouldn't touch again. Like Bluecoat.

I agree with you on the incredible aroma, but I don't share your love of the flavor. I find the aftertaste to be a mixture of clams and dirt. Or maybe it's oysters and dirt -- I'm not really experienced at identifying shellfish flavors in my gin.

Some favorites that I highly recommend are Junipero (incredible! strong juniper flavor) and No. 209 (citrusy), both from San Francisco, Old Raj (potent!), Hendricks is nice on occasion, and for a good after-dinner gin try Martin Miller's Westbourne Strength (very smooth and a little sweet).

I drink my gins straight up (and occasionally neat -- but don't try that with Old Raj) so these stand up great by themselves but aren't necessary good mixing gins. If you want a good G&T gin then it seems like Citadelle would fit the bill.

Good commentary Rick. Obviously I'm a latecomer to the site (since this topic os a year old) but I like what you have to say and will definitely be a more regular visitor.

Don LaVange said...

I love gin and I enjoy a gin martini every night. I thought Bluecoat was the best gin I've ever tasted and have been trying to find more (they don't sell here in Utah).

don

askthepaperclip said...

I have to say, I am not impressed with Bluecoat. I love gin in all forms, but this one really struck a strange chord with me. I found it to have a very oily mouthfeel, bordering on greasy. Also, every keeps talking about citrus, but get this: I make a martini with it (and then a second a few weeks later to verify) and taste not citrus, but olives! Strange, considering I take mine with a twist...

My girlfriend convinced me to buy it when she saw it in the store and liked the bottle. Unfortunately, for me, the bottle is the best part.

Ferja said...

I drink gin mostly in cocktails, and my favorite gin cocktail is the Negroni. I'm almost done with a bottle of Junipero, which I think is a very fine and versatile gin.

But the comments posted here make me wonder wether Bluecoat would be better in a Negroni. I actually put orange bitters in my Negronis and it seems like the citrusy characteristics of Bluecoat would marry well with the bittery sweetness of this cocktail.

I'm going to run out and buy a bottle of Bluecoat and do a Negroni taste test with Bluecoat vs. Junipero.

It's interesting how people seem to either love Bluecoat or hate it. I'm guessing I'll prefer Junipero as a stand alone gin while Bluecoat may be the go-to gin for making Negronis.

Darien said...

I'm still unsure how I feel about Bluecoat overall, but I don't understand why the people who love it don't seem to mention how utterly strange it is. The flavor truly is a departure, even from the New Western crowd, which for me does justify Bluecoat's self-categorization ("American Dry"). As a new style, it could have some completely unique uses, but I don't think it's very good on its own (proclaiming a new category doesn't exactly exempt it from having to taste good as a gin).

The non-standard flavor of Bluecoat was easy to put a name to, though. The vegetal component, the earthy, cavey weirdness and the super-dry, astringent aftertaste are familiar to me as the flavor of SLIGHTLY OLD DRY CARROTS! Specifically the middle part, which is more bitter. Taste it, I'm sure you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. It wasn't a bad thing, it just took some getting used to, along with a moment to accept that this had absolutely nothing to do with what people conventionally consider dry gin. If you made a martini with this -- which I would not, although maybe I should try it as an experiment -- it would not actually BE a martini.

I also would point out that while it is heavy on the botanicals (something I like) and it is actually well-balanced and the super dryness suits it (as best I can judge, given its single-member category), it isn't particularly floral and is less herbal than many conventional gins. The strange flavor is unique and hard to put a name to (aside from old carrot), but it's only moderately complex.