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Review: Goslings Family Reserve Old Rum

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 15, 2014

A dark 'n Stormy made with Gosling's Family reserve.

A Dark ‘n Stormy made with Gosling’s Family reserve.

James Gosling (in 1806), left England intending to bring a load of merchandise goods to America for trade and sale. Apparently the ship upon which he was traveling was confounded by calm seas and instead of reaching America, the ship’s 90 day charter expired, and the ship’s Captain changed course to Bermuda. James Gosling never made it to America and instead settled in Bermuda opening a shop in St. George’s at the end of that year.

James’ brother Ambrose joined him in 1824, and the Gosling Brothers rented a shop on Front Street in the new Capitol of Hamilton (which was maintained by the family for 127 years.) In 1860, the new company of Gosling Brothers began to experiment with the rum trade, and three years later they were selling a distinctive dark rum. Gosling’s originally sold the rum directly from the barrel requiring their customers to bring their own container. However during World War I the brothers began to acquire Champagne bottles which they filled with rum. The bottles were corked and covered with black wax sealing wax. Soon customers began to ask for that Black Seal Rum.

Goslings Family Reserve Old Rum is apparently blended from the same stocks and in the same manner as their flagship brand, Gosling’s Black Seal. It is however, aged for a longer period of time in what the company calls ‘dark barrels’.

You may read my full review by clicking the excerpt link:

Review: Goslings Family Reserve Old Rum

“… The breezes above the glass are tainted with licorice stained molasses, dark tobacco smoke, and strong hints of orange peel. I also sense some fine oak spices, a bit candied caramel and if you give the glass a little time, a scent of marmalade begins to develop. As the breathing continues some luscious baking spices rich with brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla begin to push through …”

Please enjoy my review which includes my recipe suggestion (Gosling’s patented cocktail) , The Dark ‘n Stormy.

Happy Father’s Day everyone!

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6 Responses to “Review: Goslings Family Reserve Old Rum”

  1. russ said

    interesting.do you think that it was a bit corked? i purchased a bottle from total wines in florida a few years back and i returned it. that being the case with that bottle of family reserve.i had high hopes for a taste treat and have not tried it since..

    • Hi Russ

      Reading your comment it almost sounds like you were a bit corked when you wrote it :)

      I had high hoped for the Goslings Family Reserve, but as indicated in the review, it disappointed me. It sounds like you had a similar experience. Take care and all the best!

  2. Mathieu said

    I had asked gosling’s and apparently the rum is in fact aged between 16 and 20 years.

    • I have to admit that I find that incredibly hard to believe. If this is true, I wonder why the information is not trumpeted on the website and on the label of the bottle. As well, I wonder why I do not taste a dominant oak flavour profile. There is some indication of oak, but nothing like I would expect from a rum aged for 16 years in a warm climate.

  3. Stephen said

    Chip

    As always, a great review. I’ve been a long time follower and my rum collection is in a lot of ways shaped by many of your reviews. My favourite still to this day is the El Dorado 21.

    The Family Reserve Old Rum has been on my ‘wanted’ list for quite some time now…not available in the LCBO so I’m a little stuck. I tried this rum a couple years ago in a Boston hostel rum bar in the Intercontinental Hotel and loved it, and have been on the look out for a bottle ever since. I am a bit surprised though by the score, which has obviously been influenced by your taste of sulphur…something I’m sure will turn many readers off. I personally don’t remember experiencing a taste of sulphur, however it was many years ago, and my palate is most definitely not as seasoned as yours :)

    Keep up the good work Chip. Many thanks.
    Stephen

    • Hi Stephen

      Yes my score was affected by the taste of sulphur (and the rum’s obvious bitterness) which is the reasons why I listed the bottle number and the year of bottling as part of the review. Gosling’s Family Reserve is probably made in small production batches and my particular sample may well have been from a production run which might be considered an outlier. But it is the bottle I sampled and analyzed so it is the only review I can offer.

      BTW: El Dorado 21 is one of my absolute favourites as well :)

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