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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


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Gosling's Black Seal Black Rum



Christopher Null

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

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  1. Edoc April 28, 2009

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

  2. epsi1on April 28, 2009

    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 April 30, 2009

    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 August 9, 2011

    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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