Review: Gosling’s Black Seal and Gold Bermuda Rum

Review: Gosling’s Black Seal and Gold Bermuda Rum

Not exactly a Johnny-come-lately in the rum world, Gosling’s is a brand that’s been around for over 150 years. 151 to be exact (hmmmmm)….

Here’s a long-overdue look at two of Gosling’s most popular and commonly-available blends. Both are sourced in Bermuda and bottled at 80 proof.

Gosling’s Black Seal Black Rum – This is the most common of the Gosling’s bottlings, a dark, “black” rum that’s commonly called for by name in Dark & Stormy cocktails. It’s easy to see why: On the rocks, it’s a smooth and intensely sweet and filled with deep molasses character. Aromatic and full of exotic spice notes — cinnamon, ginger, cloves — it almost could pass for a spiced rum and is interchangeable in cocktail recipes if you’re out of Kilo Kai. Best of all, Black Seal is a good deal at just $16 (and often on sale for much cheaper). A- / $16 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

goslings-gold-rumGosling’s Gold Bermuda Rum – Seen less frequently, Gosling’s Gold is an interesting counterpart to Black Seal for when you need a different style in your concoction. Less smooth and more rustic in style, it’s got more of a wood and smoke character than the molasses-like Black Seal. Lighter in color than your typical amber rum, it mellows out with ice and a little meltwater, but on the whole it’s better as a mixer than on its own. Still, as with Black Seal, an impressive value for the money (also $16). B+ / $16

Gosling's Black Seal Black Rum




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Edoc on April 28, 2009 at 8:04 am

    You should try the Gosling’s Family Reserve. That’s one of my favorite sipping rums.

  2. epsi1on on April 28, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Gosling’s Old Rum is to die for if you really enjoy aged rums. Still bottled in champagne bottles and sealed with the black wax (hence the “Black Seal”) so it has a very old school feel that’s a nice change from the standard bottles of the day. So delicious. Might actually have a glass of it when I finish my beer… We shall see.

  3. J. Lindsey on April 30, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Glad to see the 80 proof Black Seal was enjoyable. Up until recently, I strictly stuck with the 151 proof, but it’s all but disappeared in my state. So sad.

  4. Kansachusetts on August 9, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    I can’t wait to try the Gosling’s Old. I have been a Black Seal fan for several years. I drink the Dark and (Diet) Stormy in the summer, using Gosling’s Diet Ginger Beer, which just found its way into my supermarket in Worcester, Mass.

    In the winter I drink my own concoction, the Lite and Warmy, which is an oversized mug of heated half skim milk and half water, a teaspoon or so of dark molasses (or a packet of hot chocolate mix, or both) and a New Orleans shotglass of Goslings. When I’m off my diet, I still make it with half milk and half water because the Gosling’s itself is plenty rich.

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