James Gosling was an enterprising merchant who set sail for America from England with £10,000 of merchandise on a chartered ship. Unfortunately, however, there was little wind and by the time his charter period was up they had only got as far as Bermuda – so that’s where Gosling stayed.
He opened a shop on the King’s Parade, St George’s in December 1806. In 1824, James returned to England and his brother Ambrose rented a shop on Front Street in the new capital of Hamilton for £25 a year. The Goslings have maintained a store at this location for 127 years.
The origin of Gosling’s Black Seal
In 1860, the first oak barrels of rum distillate came to Bermuda. The Goslings then spent three years tinkering with the recipe until they finally formulated a tasty black rum that would go on to be the iconic Black Seal.
Logo: The Black Seal
They didn’t call it Black Seal at first. For many years, up until WW1, the rum was sold straight from the barrel with people bringing in their own containers to fill. After this time the rum was sold in used Champagne bottles, which has been conveniently emptied by those in the British Officers' mess. These bottles were fitted with corks once filled, which were in turn held into place with black sealing wax.
Customers were soon asking for ‘the black seal’, and eventually the family hit upon the idea of making this name more permanent, creating the iconic, barrel-juggling Black Seal logo in the process.
Ways to serve Gosling's Rum
Goslings is a staunchly Bermudan company, blending and bottling all its products on the island, and this is reflected in its most popular serves. Try a Bermuda Rum Swizzle, which blends Gosling's Black Seal and Gold rums with pineapple juice, orange juice, falernum and Angostura Bitters. Or enjoy the classic Dark ’n’ Stormy, a refreshing mix of Goslings Black Seal and ginger beer.
If you visit Bermuda you might also enjoy the island’s famous fish chowder, which includes a healthy splash of Gosling's Black Seal.