Gosling’s Black Seal
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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.