The Gosling family has been blessed. Or is it just generations of hard work?
The family has been residing and doing business in Bermuda for 217 years, ever since London wine merchant William Gosling’s oldest son, James, on his way to America, found himself stuck for so long in the doldrums of the Atlantic that the charter expired on his boat. James had to take the 10,000 pounds sterling of wine and spirits ashore at St. George’s, about 900 miles off the coast of Charleston, S.C. Rather than becoming a catastrophe for the Gosling family, that fortunate moment in 1806 led to the next eight generations of Goslings operating various wine and spirit shops and coming to produce “old rum,” as their earliest customers called the dark and smooth liquor they created from barrels of rum distillate. It was a name that stuck, just like the “black seal” customers requested after the Goslings found some champagne bottles that they filled with old rum from the oak casks and sealed with black wax. A graphic artist with a sense of humor turned the phrase into a drawing of a black seal balancing a rum barrel on its nose. That seal can be found on every bottle.
Now, after all that time, the Goslings have released Black Seal Family Reserve Old Rum, a blend bottled annually and previously kept only for family members. The Goslings say the Family Reserve Old Rum was crafted from the same Bermuda blend as the famed Black Seal but allowed to rest in once-used charred oak barrels. The Old Rum is aged between 16 and 19 years, until it has become luscious and well-balanced, with a complexity that compares with Scotch or cognac. The Goslings call it “the ultimate sipping rum” and recommend it after dinner with dessert or a cigar, neat or over a single cube of ice.
The Goslings do not say whether the Family Reserve Old Rum would best be enjoyed while wearing Bermuda shorts, but that wouldn’t be out of line.
– Pairing by: Erik Calviño
This smells like Christmas in a glass. It’s an exceptional sipping rum that shows a deep reddish mahogany color in the glass, and a rich, creamy aroma with hints of leather, dark chocolate, candied orange, and spice on the nose. The thick, viscous palate offers notes of orange marmalade, molasses, bitter dark chocolate, stewed apples, black pepper, and tobacco. The long and heavily oaked finish provides a unique touch to the experience.
Cigar Pairing: Aging Room Quattro Nicaragua
The dark, soft-pressed toro brings tons of dark chocolate, earth, and pepper to the party. The cigar’s earthiness and pepper provide a perfect “dry” complement to the Gosling’s Family Reserve Old Rum heavy and sweet richness. Without the cigar, the rum can overwhelm your palate but once combined with this award-winning cigar, the pairing thrives.