Review: Gosling’s Black Seal

Rating: ★★★★☆
Gosling’s Black Seal
www.goslings.com

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from Internet Wines and Spirits

I’ve been avoiding this rum for years. You see, my first experience drinking rum “neat” was with a bottle of Black Seal, and to be honest, I don’t think I was ready for it. It struck me as rather foul, and I moved on to other, more lightweight and approachable rums.

It’s a shame I took so long to try it again. Not only is it a fantastic rum, but it’s also remarkably affordable. However, much like a Scottish tavern wench, it won’t treat you gently, and newbies should approach with caution.

In the glass, Black Seal smells as rum should – heavy and musky. But it also gives the impression that it’s holding something back, luring you into a false sense of security. The first sip is equally deceptive, rolling about the tongue as if it didn’t have a care in the world. Its sticky rum taste leaves you ill-prepared for the pleasantly soft burning sensation that rapidly builds and spreads – first along the tongue, but then to the roof of the mouth and throat. When actually in the mouth, the flavor is subdued, but it leaves behind an impression of oaky sweetness.

This is a fine rum, and is meant to be “experienced” as much as tasted. Some rums choose to bring rum to the level of scotches and cognacs, focusing on sophistication and class – but Gosling’s Black Seal clings firmly to its roots, remaining the potent drink of choice for the weather-hardened sailor looking to warm his bones or indulge in some liquid courage.

Comments (10)

  1. Wooky

    Maybe you should redo this review. I consider myself a novice with rum and have tried maybe a dozen different kinds starting with captains private stock, myers, pyrat and other major brands.

    I stayed away from this unfortunately to long based on the review. I was scared of the of being mistreated I guess. This was my loss.

    As a novice, this is what rum should smell like to me. Sweet molassass. The taste was not harsh like I was expecting either. It was sweet, more so than other rums I’ve tried and full flavored. And yes, there was the burn at the end but I didn’t mind.

    Truely this is a remarkable rum. I have since pushed aside my private stock and greatly enjoy this amazing rum. This will be my staple as i try other rums but will return to this often.

    Anyone new to rum do not be scared. Just buy a bottle.

    Smell it.

    Sip it.

    Enjoy it.

  2. Bilge (Post author)

    All I can say mate is that not all newbies are created equal. Nor are all veterans, for that matter. All I can do is report on my own experiences as best I can.

    Of course, if others experiences are different they’re always free to share – just as you did 🙂

    Glad yer a Goslings fan, mate. Indeed, whether it takes you some time to warm up to it as with me, or if you like it from the get-go such as yerself, it’s clearly a fine, fine rum.

  3. Red Bess

    I have finally procured my first bottle of Goslings, and I can say, as a novice rum drinker, that this rum is every bit as good as advertised and not nearly as frighting as I expected. I have only recently learned to appreciate rum neat. I have enjoyed Pyrat XO and Pirate’s Choice Molasses and Key Lime and was surprised to find Goslings just as approachable as those sweeter rums. And that “burn” at the end reminds you that you drinking liquor, dammit, not pancake syrup. And frankly, you can’t beat the price. So, as possibly the biggest pansy to pour a rum straight, I can definitely recommend Goslings to anyone who wants an affordable, quality rum that you can actually “drink like a pirate.”

  4. Bob the Blighter

    ‘Tis a comely wench squeezin’ her bosom tight to me after a hellish tour o’Neptune’s worst! So soft and sweet (in her own special way) that ya never even bother aboot tha last 50 or so lads that “laid keel” for her. And when she boots ya out on your backside after she gets good and paid, ya have ta beat yer feet back ’round to the door so ya can get in line again for another taste o’earthly delight !

    So long as I live there will be a bottle o’the Black Seal standin’ tall in my liquor cabinet. This was my first taste o’the “dark” rum. Sadly, for far too long I was ignorant there was so much more to rum than that swill o’swine, Bacardi (I pray to the Holy Mother Mary for forgiveness for even speakin’ that dreaded name) I have tried many a rum since, but the Black Seal will always be that shining light o’heaven to me.

  5. Old Sephardi Pirate

    The thing is to get you some of Barritt’s Ginger Beer to go along with your Black Seal. Oh, you laugh now. But you’ll
    be a standing up with sea legs on dry land, you will.

  6. Wooky

    Mmmm, the dark and stormy. Bermuda’s rum and coke. Just as easy to make and yet so wonderfully different and intriguingly tasty.

  7. John Flint

    Arr, a good rum to be starting off drinking rum with? I’ve always been more an ale person, but i’m expanding me bound’ries.

  8. Lawrence

    I tried this while making Mai Tais! I topped off the Mai Tai with 1 oz of Black Seal. Amazing!!

    My Mai Tai

    1 oz Cruzan Light Rum
    1 oz Mount Gay Extra Old, Cruzan Single Barrel, or Appleton Estate(any) Dark Rum
    1 oz Cruzan Black Strap or Gosling Black Seal Rum (optional)
    1/2 oz Orange Curacao (Clement Creole Shrubb!!)
    1/2 oz Orgeat
    1/2 oz Fresh Lime Juice
    1/4 oz Rock Candy Syrup

    Build in rocks glass, add ice, pour into shaker, shake vigouously, return to glass, top with Dark Rum (optional) Garnish with a sprig of mint

  9. The Winch Wench

    A kiss o’ the black seal is always good for what ails ya! I started my rum lovin’ journey with the usual lightweight stuff. The dark rum I had tried reminded me of cough syrup (Myers) so at first I was reluctant to join the dark side. One day I was tired of being anchored in Parrot Bay and set sail in search of new adventures in rum land. I picked up a bottle of Black Seal and have never looked back. Top quality for a great price and great flavor both for mixed drinks and straight up. I have since tasted many fine rums but I am a loyal Gosling’s girl all the way. The only rum higher on my list is the Goslings’ Family Reserve Old Rum……if your wonderin’ about the high price tag on that one, yes it is worth every penny!

  10. Roy the Polack

    I became intrigued with the Black Seal when The Deep came out at the movies. I would get a bottle from time to time, and savor it, never sharing it. I would give Castillo Rum or Cruzan Rum to the lads, or Jim Beam. But Black Seal neat, 501 on the bristle board, is savored. “Rum isn’t drinkin’, it’s survivin”!!!!!!!

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