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The James Gosling family business first produced Gosling Black Seal rum in 1806, and it is now the oldest surviving business on the island of Burmuda.
Gosling 'Black Seal' rum received it's name from the black wax originally used to seal the bottles. It is Bermuda's most widely exported product and considered the nation's national drink.
Tasty, but not quite great
Nothing I prefer as avec or for zipping, but perfect for my favourite rumdrink “Dark ‘N’ Stormy”. So I rate it a 5, which for me is the highest rate I give a mixer rum.
Picture: My drink rum shelf
Picked this one up in a mini just to try and was pleasantly surprised. Nose of brown sugar, flavors of maple and oak. Middle of the road mouthfeel. Not super complex or something I wouldn’t be willing to mix, but nice sweetness, which I like. Not vanilla, just sugar flavor.
This is a bartenders essential. There are many rums readily available that do a fair impersonation of this rum and and a handful that may surpass it. Still, the cost, to taste, to functionality ratio makes this a great go to for rum drinks of all kinds calling for black rum. The Bermuda in it gives us a dry island rum taste frosted with dark molasses. Plantation's Original Dark and Cruzan's Black strap surely can stake their claims as the affordable dark mixers but for my money Black Seal certainly holds it own and brings with it centuries of tradition.
Pair this rum with goslings ginger beer for an excellent and refreshing drink. Skip the diet ginger beer alternative. The poor taste doesn’t justify the reduced number of calories.
Spicy with just a touch of orange this is a solid dark rum known as the perfect mixer for a Dark & Stormy. Not a good sipper, better as a mixer and blending rum...
After trying a half ounce pour of Blackwell's Black Gold Special Reserve at a rum bar a few weeks ago, I read the reviews on here and many compared it to Gosling's Black Seal. This got my curiosity back onto it after more than 30 years. Back then, when I tried my only bottle of Gosling's, I did not have the palate that I have today, so I absolutely hated it.
When I bought my new bottle, I did the right thing and picked up a six pack of Gosling's Ginger Beer to make their authentic signature Dark And Stormy. The recipe from Gosling's web site seemed to have too little rum for my tastes, with 1 part rum to 3 parts ginger beer. So I kept searching through other recipes until one explained that it is all about getting the right balance between the rum and the ginger beer. Agree!!! It was suggested to use 2 parts rum to 3 parts ginger beer. I also added a bit of the optional lime juice. All I can say is that this is one very strange and unique drink that was never popular where I grew up. It strikes me as a wannabe Tiki drink that was created on the wrong side of the world. I had one recently at a favorite beach bar and thought WTF. The same goes for my home made authentic version. My response is still WTF. I also tried the Gosling's recipe, which tries to hide the taste of this rum.
So this all leads to my initial taste of sipping neat from a Glencairn glass. It is NOT a black rum at all. If you want true black rum, try Cruzan Black Strap. It is reddish mahogany in color, and the color almost matches my new bottle of Ron Zacapa XO. It is also semi-dry with 11 gpl of added sugar. The aroma and flavors are totally alien to me, maybe because Bermuda is way the hell out in the middle of the ocean. I don't hate it, but I surely don't love it. I will figure out what to do with the rest of the bottle and ginger beer. Thank goodness that my creative streak runs high. For right now, it starts out with my rating of a 6. I also have the feeling that I will develop a love/hate relationship with this rum. I have also found a better use for this rum in Bermuda Coffee.
If anything, this bottle finally was inspiration to try their ginger beer, which is non-alcoholic. Ever since my days of cruising in rough seas on craft of 110 feet or less, ginger ale was always present to avoid sea sickness. It is also a great mixer for many rums. Well, the flavors of Gosling's Ginger Beer make my favorite ginger ale seem pale in comparison. Now that I found this out, why mess up a good ginger beer by adding this rum?
Update 9 days later: I tried like hell to find the perfect drink for this crap, but it looks like my original judgment from 30 years ago still holds true to this day. I now drop my rating from a 6 to a 4. As bad as this rum is, I have actually come across quite a few rums that are even worse!
Strong molasses flavor, pleasant aroma.
As many others have said, this is THE rum for making a good Dark and Stormy cocktail. It is not particularly a sipping rum, but is excellent for the special purpose of Dark and Stormy making (or, for that matter, for dousing fruitcake that is being aged). Well worth adding to your collection for variety.
"Goslings Black Seal rum review by The Ultimate Rum Guide"
"It’s initially sweet like liquorice, there is a little heat and spice in the mix and the finish is long and slightly bitter."
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