In the beginning of the summer when I had a hankering for a Dark n’ Stormy we conducted cocktail lab (It Was A Dark and Stormy Night) pitting Goslings Black Seal against our collection of dark(er) rums. Since there was much discussion online about the importance of using Goslings as opposed to any old dark rum, we wanted to test this theory for ourselves.
Our conclusion was that none of the other rums delivered similarly to Goslings in the Dark n’ Stormy. Black Seal neat is dry and smooth with notes of molasses and coffee. Although Brugal Extra Viejo blended well with ginger beer, the rum’s wonderful nuances were wasted by mixing. Bacardi Gold was just about acceptable, but nowhere near as complex as Goslings.
We just added Bacardi Black to our selection of rums so let’s give it a try! Excitement is building as we note the pretty burnt amber color in the pour. High alcohol in the nose blows off to reveal wood fire, oak and vanilla aromas. My expectations mount as I swirl and sniff, anticipating something splendid in the sip.
But in place of the dreamy euphoria I found in Goslings is a rude awakening. An overwhelmingly bad medicinal flavor engulfs my entire mouth. There are a few nice caramel notes on the finish but I can barely notice them as I try to recover from the heinous assault on my palate. Did rum and botched moonshine get mixed up in the bottling line at the Bacardi distillery?
I had intended to make a Dark n’ Stormy with the Bacardi Black for comparison with the Goslings, but it’s so bad, I don’t want to waste the ginger beer. I really hate to trash any product. After all, we all have different tastes and to each his own. But for me, this one was so awful it may actually get poured down the drain. At least the bottle is attractive…
Dark and Stormy Cocktail Recipe
- 4 oz. Ginger Beer
- 1.5 oz. Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
- Lime wedge (optional, I liked it better without)
Pour the chilled ginger beer in a glass over ice. Top with rum and admire the variations in color. Stir, swill, and talk like a pirate, matey.