Gosling Brothers Ltd., Hamilton
Gosling's Black Seal|
Gosling’s BLACK SEAL® Rum and the establishment of the Gosling family in Bermuda began long ago. In the spring of 1806 James Gosling, the oldest son of William Gosling, a London wine and spirits merchant, set out from England on the ship Mercury, with L10,000 of merchandise, bound for America. After ninety-one desperate days on becalmed seas their charter ran out, and they put in at the nearest port, St. George’s, Bermuda. Rather than pressing on for America, James opened a shop on the King’s Parade, St. George’s, in December 1806. By 1824 James had returned to England and his brother Ambrose rented a shop on Front Street in the new capital of Hamilton for L25 a year. In 1857 the firm, know as Ambrose Gosling and Son, was renamed Gosling Brothers. Three years later the first oak barrels of rum distillate arrive in Bermuda. After much experimentation in the blending process, the distinctive black rum destined to be Black Seal was formulated and offered for sale. At first they didn’t call it Black Seal, in fact up until the first world War it was sold from the barrel, and folks brought in bottles for a fill up of “Old Rum” or so called because of its distinctive smoothness. Eventually, the black rum was sold in champagne bottles, reclaimed from the British Officer’s Mess, and the corks sealed with black sealing wax. Pretty soon people began to ask for the “Black Seal”. In 1949 a play on words and images gave birth to the little, barrel juggling “Black Seal”.
In the spring of 1806, London wine and spirits merchant James Gosling set out from England aboard the chartered clipper Mercury with L10,000 of merchandise bound for the Virginias. The voyage was a difficult one. Ninety-one consecutive days of calm left the crew and passengers in dire straits and the charter of the Mercury was fast running out.
The ship eventually made port in St. Georges, Bermuda, where Gosling and his family decided to set up shop rather than press on to America. James Gosling opened a shop on the King's Parade, St. George's in December 1806.
In 1824 the enterprise was moved to Front Street in the new capital of Hamilton. By that time, Ambrose Gosling - James' brother - had joined the firm, and in 1857 the name of the business was changed to Gosling Brothers. To this day the company remains the oldest surviving business in Bermuda and is still a family concern.
Gosling Brothers Ltd. imported its first barrels of Caribbean rum into Bermuda in 1860. Numerous different blends were tried until one was formulated and deemed ideal.
The result was a well-aged, extremely dark rum, which the firm dubbed "Old-Rum". For over 50 years the rum was sold only by draught, with local patrons bring in their own bottles to be filled. The rum continued to be sold exclusively out of the barrel until the First World War, when the company began filling champagne bottles reclaimed from the British Officer's mess. The corks were secured in place with the use of black sealing wax, prompting people to refer to the brand as "Black Seal."
It wasn't until many years later that Gosling Brothers adopted the image of the barrel juggling "black seal" on its labels. To this day, Gosling's Black Seal Rum is created according to the original family recipe from a premium blend of three-year old rums.
Bermuda has no sugar cane, no distillery, but still, proudly, has its own rum: Goslings Black Seal.
Here are full texts from the labels
bm_12: Choicest Old Barbados Rum; Gosling Brothers Ltd, Bermuda
bm_3: Gosling's; Black Seal
bm2: Gosling's Bermuda Black Rum; Since 1806; 40% alc./vol (80 us-proof); 750 ml (25.4 fl. oz.); Black Seal; Product of Bermuda; Bottled by Gosling Brothers Ltd., Hamilton, Bermuda; Imported exclusively by Marie Brizard, U.S.A.
bm3: Gosling's Bermuda Black Rum; Since 1806; 75.5% alc./vol; 151 U.S. proof; 1 litre; 33.8 fl. oz.; Black Seal; Product of Bermuda; Bottled by Gosling Brothers Ltd., Hamilton, Bermuda; Imported exclusively by Marie Brizard, U.S.A., Princeton, MN
bm_18: Goslings; Since 1806; Rum; Gold Seal; 80 Proof; Bermuda Gold Rum; 40% alc/vol; 750ml
bm8: Since 1806; Gosling's Bermuda Black Rum; 80 proof; Black Seal
bm1133: Since 1806; Gosling's Bermuda Black Rum; 151 proof; Black Seal
bm_6: Gosling's Black Seal
bm12: Gosling's Since 1806; 80 Proof; (25.4 Fl. Oz.) 750 ml; Bermuda Light Rum; Blended and bottled in Bermuda by Gosling Brothers Ltd., Hamilton, Bermuda; Imported by Maison Portier & Fils, Inc, New York, N.Y.
bm13: Gosling's Bermuda; Since 1806; Rum Deluxe; Refined Barbados Rum; 80 Proof; Product of Barbados; Imported and bottled by Gosling Brothers Ltd., Hamilton, Bermuda
bm14: Gosling's Bermuda; Since 1806; Choicest; 151° Proof; Barbados Rum; Product of Barbados; Bottled by Gosling Brothers Ltd., Hamilton, Bermuda
bm_11: Gosling's Family Reserve Rum; Gosling's Family Reserve Old Rum has been a secret for ??? enjoyed only by members of the family. Old Rum is certified from the incompatible Bermuda blend ... up the smooth, full flavor of Gosling's Black Seal Rum; The rum is ... the oak barrels where it is aged until it has acquired a ..., well balanced complexity, resulting is be finest of sipping rums; Old Rum; This rich, soft, elegant Old Rum is created for the enjoyment of those who appreciate the ... things is life. Welcome to the family! Gosling's Since 1806; Bottle No. 349/03; 750 ml; 40% alc/vol
bm_13: Gosling's Gold Bermuda Rum