Posted on | October 2, 2015
Written by | Jeffery Lindenmuth
Bermuda’s beloved dark Rum Sets a Course for Success.
Starting this October in Bermuda for the first stages of the 35th America’s Cup, the island’s native spirit, Gosling’s Rum, will act as Official Rum and Ginger Beer through 2017. But Gosling’s Rum has already set sail, with Malcolm Gosling, President & CEO of Gosling-Castle Partners, Inc, at the helm. From his office in Boston, the seventh-generation Gosling is steering the company for success in the U.S. by leading the most ambitious export effort in the family company’s 209 year history.
“We started with New England, primarily because Gosling’s Black Seal has the most recognition here, given our location and deep maritime heritage,” says Gosling, referring to the rich, dark-hued flagship rum, using a blend of both pot still and column still distillates, created around 1850. “We are now pushing down the coast, but we are not shying away from California, or Texas or Illinois. It’s just that the further you get from Bermuda, the more work we have to do to build recognition.”
Fortunately, that recognition is aided greatly by a beloved Gosling’s Rum signature cocktail: The Dark ’n Stormy. According to Gosling, Bermuda, and Gosling’s, lay rightful claim to the mix of Gosling’s Rum and ginger beer, a trademark they prefer to support through education rather than aggressive litigation. “When we see it on a drink list using a different rum, we work with the bartender to correct it. It’s necessary to protect the authenticity of the drink, because we are not a massive global brand like some of our competitors,” says Gosling.
True to Bermuda
The Gosling commitment to the integrity of Dark ’n Stormy goes beyond just rum. About five years ago, the company introduced Gosling’s Ginger Beer, a non-alcoholic mixer that has also found success with other cocktails, like the Moscow Mule, setting it on pace to sell a combined 1 million cases of regular and diet next year.
The next logical step was, of course, a ready-to-drink Gosling’s Dark ’n Stormy that combines the best of Bermuda. Despite the challenges of a spirits-based RTD, Gosling was determined to stay true to their own trademark without compromise, using only Gosling’s rum, not brewed malt, for a 9% alcohol beverage in a 250ml can with the perfect balance of robust rum and gingery refreshment.
Gosling’s has several options for consumers looking to trade-up the range. Gosling’s Gold Seal is debuting with a new bottle, new name (it was formerly Gosling’s Gold Bermuda Rum) and new formulation. “It was a great product with many loyal customers, so the new formula includes subtle improvements. We refined it a bit and added more depth and more elegance,” says Gosling.
Both Gold Seal and Black Seal have won favor with mixologists in the U.S., the U.K. and Germany, according to Gosling, who notes these rums excel in classic rum cocktails, or in long drinks like the Sunny G (with ginger ale and a splash of orange juice). The dark horse of the Gosling’s stable, however, is Gosling’s Black Seal 151 Proof. “Mixologists absolutely love it because unlike other overproof rums you have more than just potency. You have the deep Black Seal flavor,” beams Gosling.
For the pinnacle of the range, Gosling’s returns again to Black Seal, giving the distinctive blend additional aging in hand-selected bourbon barrels to create Gosling’s Family Reserve Old Rum. Although the Family Reserve is most often consumed after dinner like Cognac, it’s also at home in classic whisky cocktails. Among recent accolades, Caribbean Journal named Family Reserve the #1 aged rum in the world.