In 1806, James Gosling, a London vintner, set sail aboard a chartered ship with £10,000 worth of spirits bound for America. They saw calm seas throughout the journey, thus, on the ninety-first day the charter expired before reaching their destination.
James decided to dock at the nearest port being St George’s, on the island of Bermuda. With pink sand beaches and beautiful sunshine, James stayed longer than planned. And although America was the original dream, he opened up shop on the island instead.
It was 1824 when Ambrose, James’ brother, joined the business and moved Gosling and Son to Hamilton, Bermuda’s capital at a rent price of just £25 a year (the shop would remain here for an incredible 127 years). Ambrose’s children decided the company should be known for the brothers’ legacy, and in 1857 it was renamed Gosling Brothers.
The first oak barrels of rum distillate later arrived in Bermuda in 1860. Gosling Brothers experimented with blending methods until coming to the distinct black rum that it's known as today. Punters would then come prepared, filling up their own bottles straight from the barrel.
The name Gosling’s Black Seal came about after WW1, when the shop began selling their rum in champagne bottles which were reclaimed from the British Officer’s mess hall. The corks were sealed with a black sealing wax, so customers would then order the ‘Black Seal rum’, and the name clearly stuck.
Gosling Brothers have now been trading for over 200 years and boast a long-standing family history. The company has been handed down through seven generations, with Nancy Gosling as the current President and CEO.