Monthly Archives: April 2015

Philadelphia Distilling’s Gem – Bluecoat American Dry Gin

I’ve had Philadelphia Distilling on my mind. And in my tonic. A lot. This gin is a treat and its time I discuss some of its finest traits coming from a Juniper loving Gin Girl perspective.

Bluecoat Gin

I discovered Bluecoat gin while slinging drinks in D.C. primarily using it in cocktails calling for a bold citrus gin. Stunning packaging and product invite you to want to know more. So that’s exactly what I did. I drove up to the distillery and I learned everything there was to know (well not everything) about this small-not-small distillery in the heart of Philadelphia.

Bluecoat Gin Still - Gin Girl Review

Meet the Still

For starters Bluecoat Gin shares a beauty of a pot still with all of the other spirits in the Philadelphia Spirits portfolio; for now. Rumor has it is they are building a larger facility with at least 3 pot stills for their growing distribution.

I also had the pleasure of meeting the distillers, Mr. Aaron Seyla and Bill Tambussi whose charm and humor combined are enough to keep you entertained on your distillery adventures. And when I say adventures – I mean distilling Absinthe!

Meet the Bluecoat Distillers

Meet the Bluecoat Distillers

When I arrived at the distillery Aaron and Bill were preparing to distill their Vieux Carre Absinthe and asked me if I would like to give them a hand. What?!?!?! Dreams can come true!


Bluecoat’s anise fragrant sister Vieux Carre rocks an attire of anise, fennel and wormwood (Not spilling any secrets here!!!) and the opportunity to get my hands dirty in botanicals was more than a treat. So was the team. Humble. Open. Embracing.

The Bluecoat team plus the Gin Girl

But now to the Gin. Take time to sip Bluecoat straight and you’ll experience a double treat. Crisp on the front and warm spice notes on the finish.

From the bottle, soft fragrant nose of coriander, mellow orange peel and slight notes of fennel/licorice. The nose reminds me of the smells lingering in a distillery hours long after the batch has fired. Pour into a glass and the nose opens up into a crisp citrus bouquet of lemon, lime and orange with coriander lingering in the background.

Bluecoat is a mixed bag of flavors. Some detect the pepper and strong body at the front, while some hail it a dessert gin noting the soft orange fruit finish. Crisp bright citrus and pepper with notes of juniper and coriander in the first sips, allowing a longer warmer spiced finish with notes of candied orange and lemon.

Don’t be fooled by the pretty packaging, this gin is bold and complex and demands attention.

Nose: coriander, orange peel, fennel

Palate: juniper and coriander, specks of pepper, soft notes of orange and lemon round out the finish

Category: American Dry Gin

Proof: 94

Rating: Gin Girl Top 20

Look for their new Barrel Aged Bluecoat Gin hitting your market soon! The bottles are gorgeous. Can’t wait to review!

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The Gin Girl


The Genius of Cane – Genius Naval Strength Gin

If you know the Gin Girl, you already know I have an infatuation with overproof gins. Perhaps its something about the larger concentration of botanicals apparent in the higher proof, or maybe its just the grandiose title that Naval Strength signifies when it rolls of the tongue. Regardless, I love it and distillers are picking up on the movement.

Genius Gin was brought to my attention by a Texas expat and Gin lover, finding solace in The Gin Room and singing the praises of this Austin based navy gin.

When it arrived at my doorstep I noticed the intricate decor of the bottle and the three words “Distilled from cane”. I was more than intrigued. I am excited to see that gin distillers are becoming more creative with their choice of base spirit from malty grain based spirits to grape distillation. So I nerded out and found that Texas was one of the 10 largest processors of raw sugar cane in United States. I spoke directly with the distiller and found that their goal was to distill a truly unique neutral spirit, one that was not reminiscent of the GNS that can be readily bought. By making their own choices for yeast, water and sugar, they could tweak the recipe to get their optimal base spirit, one that would serve as a silky base for their specific botanical blend.

Genius Gin Naval - Austin Texas

Genius Gin Naval – Austin Texas

This gin is definitely unique. The first distinction that caught me was the nose, reminiscent of banana laffy taffy. Yes I said it. Banana laffy taffy from your childhood corner store, getting stuck in your teeth yet you craved it over and over every summer. Notes of pine forest on a cold day and warm coriander round out the aroma. My detection of the cane sugar base is the grainy botanical blend you get in the palate. Coriander, cardamon and a savory lavender on a bolder playground with notes of candied lime and orange to soften the ends in a somewhat Old Tom way.

Nose: Ripened fruit, banana laffy taffy, crisp pine

Palate: The 114 proof is evident in this hot naval gin. Grainy notes of coriander, lavender and cardamom with the citrus lime notes lingering. I let the gin breathe for 10 mins and the palate transformed in to warm spices of freshly baked bread glazed with orange marmalade.

Try this bold gin with light spicy food and you’re in for a treat. I tried mine with our spicy falafel and boy did it pop! To get its full profile I would recommend serving Genius Naval Strength on a large rock or in a Dolin Dry Martini with a lime twist. Bartenders, this gin is perfect for cutting even the most syrupy cocktails into craft masterpieces.

Category: Naval Strength

Origin: Austin Texas

Proof: 114

Genius Vesper

1.5 oz Genius Naval Strength Gin

1 oz Purus Vodka

.5 oz Lillet Blanc

Garnish: Ripe Lemon Twist

Combine all ingredients in a pint glass filled with ice and stir. Twist and zest a frosted martini glass with the ripe lemon peel and drop in glass. Stir and strain spirit into the lemon spritzed martini glass.