Pros: Excellent over ice, makes a rich-flavored Cuba Libre and refreshing Dark and Stormy
Cons: An unpleasant lingering syrupy feel on the tongue when had straight.
My son who, has done a lot of traveling in Great Britain, Australia and South Africa with a successful contemporary rock band, came home telling us about a particular mixed drink by the name of Dark and Stormy. It was my wife who first heard about it from him and it sounded like her perfect blend of drink. It was a mix of Ginger Beer and a dark rum by the name of Gosling's Black Seal. My wife loves the taste of ginger and dark rum has always been her choice. This was finished off with her favorite small addition in a drink, a slice of lime.
USING Gosling's BLACK SEAL
She was going to substitute the Gosling's Black Seal for her favorite Myers. My son told her it would not be the same. We didn't think it would matter because as far as we were concerned Myers blew away all other dark rums especially when looking for a sweeter richer taste. We could not have been more wrong. We did make the Dark and Stormy with Myers and it was good. Then when we did purchase our first bottle of Black Seal Rum on Long Island's east end, my wife made a Dark and Stormy with it and WOW! That was a beautiful drink! The Gosling's has more body than our other favorite and it holds up to the spicy Ginger flavors better. It makes a very tasty and refreshing drink on a hot afternoon.
Not knowing much about the rum I looked up the web site and it was loaded with great information about other recipes. I also found out that this is a Bermuda based company that has been in business for a long long time. The site advertised it as Bermuda's National Drink. After being to the island many years ago I thought the islands drink was the Rum Swizzle. Well that seems to have been replaced. I did note however that there were some rum swizzle recipes that included Black Seal Rum.
Gosling's Black Seal is the darkest colour rum I have ever seen. It almost looks black. That however is not the reason for its name. More on that in a bit. If you hold the bottle up to light you can see through the liquid that takes on the colour of a dark cherry juice.
I read the label on the back of the bottle that tells a bit of history. Goslings has been around since 1806. That means a big 200 year bash should be coming up in a couple of years.
Here's what the label says.
Gosling's BLACK SEAL RUM, Rich smooth & full bodied. BLACK SEAL RUM is a unique blend by Gosling's Brothers of Bermuda, the original recipe being a closely guarded family secret that has been handed down for over four generations.
Originally called "Old Rum" it was available only on drought out of oak barrels. Finally after World War One, BLACK SEAL was sold in Champagne bottles, the most widely available bottle of the time. The cork was sealed with black sealing wax, hence the name BLACK SEAL
I have the liter bottle and it tells me that the contents are 80 Proof 40% ALC/VOL. It also mentions that this product was rated "96" out of a hundred and a BEST BUY in the World Spirits Championships.
When testing the nose I received a mild sweet aroma like lightly burned sugar. It was pleasant. Taking a sip I immediately feel the liquid encasing my tongue and roof of my mouth in a syrupy like substance. The sweetness in the nose continued to the taste and again it wasn't too sweet. I had a sort of mix of a dark granulated sugar that was slightly burned along with a molasses taste and a touch of some other spice I could not distinguish. With the swallow I received an immediate warmth in my body with my tongue still holding the syrupy texture.
I personally don't like that lingering feel that continues for quite a while. In fact I have to have water to help clear it out. I do enjoy the Black Seal Rum over crushed ice and, as with some Scotches, I feel the taste is enhanced this way.
When away from our home for the day or on vacation my wife and I often keep a flask with Myer's Rum with us. Coke can be found in any small market or even a vending machine. It was always our thought that the Myers made for the best rum and coke.
We have recently started making our Cuba Libre with the Gosling's Black Seal Rum. The drinks are excellent! Even better than our old favorite. I like to add just a bit more lime juice, and extra squeeze of a wedge, in the drink. Some purists might think using Black Seal mixed with Coke is sacrilegious but I take it as a taste of heaven.
Many times we offer a suggestion of what foods a drink may go well with. In this case I'll tell you about a few foods that use Black Seal in the recipes.
The Gosling site, www.gosling.com, has a list of fine looking recipes. You could open your meal with Bermuda Fish Chowder using BSRum and then cook up some Beef Short Ribs that have been prepared with spices, sweets and BSR. Finish this all off with a dessert of Black Seal-Poached Pears. I haven't tried any of these but they sure look like good reasons to go out and buy another bottle of Gosling's Bermuda Black Seal Rum.
Thanks to my son and his traveling we have a new favorite rum. It's the only rum I have ever sipped over ice. It's also good with coke and if you have some ginger beer, look out for the DARK and STORMY.