Gosling’s Rum, Bermuda

July 23, 2012 1:38 pm | Posted by Del


In the spring of 1806, London wine & spirits merchant James Gosling set out from England aboard the chartered clipper Mercury with 10,000 dollars of merchandise bound f0r 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 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 King’s Parade,St.George’s in December 1806. In 1824 James returned to England and his brother Ambrose moved the business to Front Street in the new capital, Hamilton. In 1857 the firm was renamed Gosling Brothers by Ambrose’s sons. Three years later the first oak barrels of rum distillate arrived in Bermuda and three years after that (after much trial and error) the distinctive Bermuda black rum destined to be Black Seal was formulated and offfered for sale.

They didn’t call it Black Seal at first. In fact, up until the First World War it was sold straight from the barrel, and most folks brought in their own bottles for a “fill up”. 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 bottle with the “Black Seal”. Many years later the idea of the iconic barrel juggling “Black Seal” was born.

The original Dark’N Stormy, Bermuda’s National Drink, is made with Gosling’s Black seal Rum, ginger beer and a squeeze of lime. The irresistable Dark’N Stormy, called the “perfect” cocktail by many, has been a tradition in Bermuda for over a century.

To this day Gosling Brothers Limited remains the oldest surviving business in Bermuda and is still a family concern.

img_1077_edited-1Goslings Black Seal Rum
Black seal has a rich, intricate flavour, well balanced and nuanced with butterscotch, vanilla and caramel. Or, as expressed by the Beverage Tasting Institute when they awarded it their highest honour, the Platinum Medal : “Deep, assertive and highly flavoured ; very fragrant with herbal sharpness. At the finish there is softness and elegance, a most complex, unusual spirit.”
A Cocktail to remember: Dark “N” Stormy

img_1079_edited-1Goslings Gold Bermuda Rum For generations, the Gosling name has stood for smooth, complex, decidedly dark rums. But times, and tastes, change. So, to satisfy the increasing vociferous requests for an amber rum, in 2006 Gosling’s unveiled their Golden Bermuda Rum ; their first new product in over 100 years.
This is a well – balanced blend of pot still distillates and continuous still distillates. This unique, proprietary blend is what sets Gosling’s Gold apart from others. You’ll find it has a rich, golden amber colour, a nose of vanilla, apricot, mango and a lightly smoked oak character. The taste is smooth and light with hints of citrus and tropical flavours and nutty undertones. Unusually versatile, it can be enjoyed straight, on-the-rocks, with ginger ale or as a mixer to enhance any rum recipe.

img_5925Goslings Family Reserve Old Rum
155 years seems long enough. So the deep, dark secret rum that Gosling’s has enjoyed for generations is now       going public. Appropriately called Gosling’s Family Reserve Old Rum, it is crafted from the same incomparable Bermuda blend that they use for their renowned Black seal Rum. But, they leave it resting in oak barrels even longer, aging it until it has acquired an extra luscious, nuanced complexity much like a rare Scotch or Cognac. Consider it the ultimate sipping rum. This unusual spirit deserves more than the usual bottle and label. So they lovingly take each bottle, hand label it, dip it in wax, number it, encircle it with a metal band and then place it in a straw-filled wooden box reminiscent of days past.  


Graham D

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Hayman’s London Dry Gin

July 8, 2012 2:50 pm | Posted by Del


haymans-london-dry-ginThe original company of Haymans Distillers was founded in the 1800s by James Burrough, the great grandfather of the current Chairman, Christopher Hayman. James Burrough created the world renowned Beefeater Gin. Although Beefeater Gin and James Burrough Limited were sold to Whitbread in 1987, the Hayman family retained part of the business and continued the tradition of distilling and blending Gin and other white spirits.

BOTANICALS that make this fine gin – Christopher Hayman believes it is the careful and consistent balance of Juniper, Coriander, Orange and Lemon Peel which is vital in crafting a classic style of London Dry Gin. The Hayman’s Gin recipe consists of ten natural botanicals handpicked from around the world which creates a fresh crisp and fragrant flavour.

* The best Juniper provides the predominate flavour of Gin and is therefore the most essential ingredient.
* The finest Angelica Roots are harvested in France and give Gin its dry character.
* CorianderSeeds are imported from France which together with Liquorice gives Gin its complexity.
* Orris Root, sourced from Italy, has a scented flavour and is an essential part of the blend as it holds the other flavours together.
* Orange and Lemon Peel is sourced from Spain where the fruit is usually hand-peeled and left to dry in the Spanish sunshine to capture the oils and give Haymans London Dry Gin its crisp,balanced and unique flavour.

The important process of STEEPING and DISTILLATION

- Prior to the distillation process, the botanicals are steeped in the pot still for 24 hours which is the first part of the infusion process. After steeping, the gin undergoes the distillation process. During the distillation process, the still is heated at a gentle temperature so each botanical releases its flavour at a different stage of the process. The result is a premium London Dry Gin of consistently exceptional quality. Christopher believes Premium Gin should be created in a traditional Pot still to enable the flavours of the carefully selected botanicals to develop to their full potential and allow the Master Distiller to handcraft a uniquely flavoured premium gin with care and attention.

GIMLET- a highly recommended cocktail

* 2 shots of Hayman’s London Dry Gin
* 2 shots Roses Lime Cordial
* 1/2 shot water
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a glass.


Graham D

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Sloe Gin

May 20, 2012 4:32 pm | Posted by Del

Sloe Gin is a fine gin spirit or liqueur flavoured with sloe (blackthorn) berries, which are a small fruit relative of the plum. Sloe gin has an alcohol content between 15 and 30 percent by volume and is produced by many small boutique wineries and distillers. The traditional way of making sloe gin is to infuse gin with the berries, sugar is required to ensure the sloe juices are extracted from the fruit. Almond or cinnamon flavouring is sometimes also added. Many commercial sloe gins today are made by flavouring less expensive neutral grain spirits, and produce a fruit cordial effect, although a number of long-established, reputable manufacturers still use the traditional method.

To make Sloe Gin, the sloe berries must be ripe. In the Northern Hemisphere, they were traditionally picked in late October or early November after the first frost of the winter. Each berry is pricked and a vat or barrel is part filled with the pricked berries, then the vat or barrel is filled with gin and sugar, adding a few cloves and a small stick of cinnamon. The vat or barrel is sealed and mixed several times by turning, then stored in a cool, dark place. It is usually mixed by turning every day for the first two weeks, then each week, until at least three months have passed. The gin will now be a deep ruby red. The liqueur is poured off and the berries and spices discarded.

Some great examples of Sloe Gins and Liqueurs

sloegin-foxSloe Gin Liqueur, Foxdenton Estate, Buckinghamshiresloe-gin-bg

Sloe Gin Liqueur, Bramble & Gage, Gloucestershire

Sloe Gin Liqueur, Sloemotion, North Yorkshiresloegin

Sloe Gin Liqueur, Moniack Castle, Highland Wineries

sloeginslcSloe Gin Liqueur, Scottish Liqueur Centre

Sloe Gin Reserve Liqueur, Lyme Bay Winery, Devon sloe-reserve2

Sloe Gin Liqueur, Gordons, London

sipsmith-sloeSloe Gin Liqueur, Sipsmith, London

Sloe Gin Liqueur, Plymouth, Devon

 Sloe Gin Liqueur, Condessa, Isle of Anglesey

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Bodegas Williams & Humbert Sherries

March 14, 2012 1:09 pm | Posted by Del

Bodegas Williams & Humbert

The history of Bodegas Williams & Humbert goes back nearly 130 years. They participated in the creation of the Jerez-Xeres-Brandy Quality Demarcation and are now considered to be one of the world’s most prestigious wine producers.

The winery was founded in 1877 by Sir Alexander Williams, a great admirer and connoisseur of sherry products and Arthur Humbert, a specialist in international relations. Since then they have preserved part of the original wines and brandies (soleras) in high quality oak casks. These soleras are the base of the development and ageing of every sherry and brandy produced at Bodegas Williams & Humbert.

The following are summaries and tasting notes of many of the Sherries that Williams & Humbert are world famous for :


img_7439This is a very dry Fino Sherry produced from Palomino grapes. Bud musts from the best vineyards undergo cold, still fermentation at 22C. Then they go through early filtering and classification by quality. The best wine distillations are fortified at 15c to be racked in clean casks. They are then put into the traditional system of dynamic ageing employed in Jerez – Criaderas y Soleras- in the 6th criadera cask, where the biological ageing under a layer of yeast takes place in the traditional oak casks, preferably of American oak. The ageing is minimum five years while the wine passes from one criadera to another until it reaches the solera, from which it is drawn out for consumption.

Tasting Notes : A wine of brilliant, pale gold colours. Intense, complex aromas reminiscent of the yeast layer with a hint of almond. Delicate yet full-bodied, with character and elegance. A long aftertaste and nose.

Suggestions with Food : Ideal for aperitifs accompanied by a high quality cheese, ham and seafood dishes. Also excellent with almonds.


img_7437This a blended Oloroso or Medium Sherry produced from Palomino and Pedro Ximenez grapes. Bud musts undergo controlled fermentation at 28c and fortified with alcohol distilled from wine up to 19.5 degrees. Palomino and Pedro Ximenez are racked into clean casks while waiting to enter the Criaderas y Soleras system. Physical-chemical ageing through oxidation for at least six years, obtaining a slightly sweetened oloroso or medium sherry.

Tasting Notes: An amber-coloured wine of intense aromas suggesting dried nuts. Full bodied and balanced, with little acid and slightly sweet .

Suggestions with Food: It can be drunk neat or with ice. It is recommended as an aperitif or to accompany pasta and rice dishes.


canasta-cream_edited-1A sweet Oloroso or Cream Sherry produced from Palomino and Pedro Ximenez grapes. The bud musts undergo controlled fermentation and fortified at 19.5 degrees. An elegant blend of Palomino and Pedro Ximenez before entering the Criaderas y Soleras system for physical-chemical ageing through oxidation in oak casks. Aged for at least six years. A unique sweet Oloroso or “Cream” Sherry.

Tasting Notes: Sweet Oloroso. Mahogany colour and aromas of dried nuts with a hint of raisins and brown sugar. Smooth, velvety palate with warm alcohol flavours and a persistent aftertaste.

Suggestions for Food : It can be consumed very cold by itself and with desserts, or on ice as a refreshing early evening drink.


img_7441This is a very Sweet Oloroso or Cream Sherry produced from Palomino, Pedro Ximenez and Muscatel grapes. Bud musts undergo controlled fermentation and fortified at 19.5 degrees. Palomino, Pedro Ximenez and Muscatel are blended and racked into clean casks before entering the Criaderas y Solera system for physical-chemical ageing through oxidation in oak casks. Aged for at least four years.

Tasting Notes: Very sweet oloroso.Dark mahogany, almost ebony. On the nose, dried nuts and faint aroma of raisins, muscatel and toasted sugar. Smooth and velvety with a warm palate owing to its alcohol content. A long finish.

Suggestions for Food: It can be consumed very cold by itself and with desserts, or on ice as a refreshing long drink.


img_7443This a slightly sweetened Amontillado or “Medium Sweet” Sherry produced from Palomino and Pedro Ximenez grapes. The bud must undergoes controlled fermentation and fortified with alcohol distilled from wine at 28 degrees. Palomino and Pedro Ximenez are racked before entering the Criaderas y Soleras system for physical-chemical ageing through oxidation in oak casks. Aged for at least six years. A slightly sweetened oloroso, or “medium sweet” sherry.

Tasting Notes: Brillant amber. Intense aroma of dried nuts. Full bodied and balanced, with low acidity. Sweet and persistent.

Suggestions for Food: To be drunk neat or on ice. Ideal as an aperitif or with pasta and rice dishes.


dos-cortados-30yrs_edited-2This a dry Amontillado Sherry produced from Palomino grapes. Bud musts from the best vineyards undergo cold, still decanting and fermentation at 22c. Early filtering, classification by quality and fortified at 15 degrees with the best distilled wines to obtain the traditional racks. Put into the classical Jerez Criaderas y Soleras system of dynamic ageing at the 15th criadera, where the biological ageing takes place under a layer of yeast. Aged in traditional oak casks , preferably American for at least 8 years, after which it is transferred to the 6th criadera for an additional 22 years of natural ageing by oxidation until it reaches the solera. It is then removed for consumption.

Tasting Notes: Bright hues of very old gold and amber. Pungent, intense and complex on the nose, with a subtle note of  fino sherry and a hint of dried nuts and filbert. Dry with excellent acidity, a long, full bodied and elegant palate. A delightfully expressive and unforgettable finish.

Suggestions with Food: An excellent aperitif served with a fine cheese, ham or seafood dishes.


dos-cortados-20yrs_edited-1A fortified wine, this rare and peculiar dry Pale Cortado Sherry produced from Palomino grapes is halfway between an Amontillado and an Oloroso. Bud musts from the best vineyards undergo cold, still decanting and fermentation at 22c. Early filtration, classification by quality and then the must is fortified at 15degrees with the best distilled wines to obtain the traditional racks. Put into the Criaderas y Soleras system in fino sherry casks for biological ageing. Sporadically, circumstances cause the contents of some casks to behave differently than it is expected – they will not become fino sherry. These casks are “cut” (hence the term “cortado”) with one or two jugs of alcohol to form the base of the palo cortado solera system. The wine is then aged for 20 years until it reaches the solera.

Tasting Notes : Bright hues of very old gold and amber . Pungent, intense and complex on the nose, with a subtle note of filberts and dried fruits. Dry with excellent acidity, a long, full-bodied and elegant palate. An incredibly expressive and unforgettable finish. Sherry with an amontillado nose and an oloroso palate.

Suggestions with Food: Excellent as an aperitif for those long evenings or in short drinks with tapas.


dry-oloroso12yrs_edited-1This is a dry Oloroso produced from Palomino grapes. The bud musts undergo controlled fermentation at 28c, then fortified with distilled wine alcohol at up to 19.5degrees. The Palomino enters the racks before entering the Criaderas y Soleras system for physical-chemical ageing through oxidation in oak casks. It is aged for at least 12 years. This is a unique dry Oloroso.

Tasting Notes: Bright amber. Intense aromas characteristic of this type of wine and a hint of dried nuts and fruits. Dry, rich, with smooth tannins, it is luscious and balanced with a long finish.

Suggestions for Food: As an aperitif with mature cheese, at meals with red meats and even as an after-dinner drink.



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Pasta Dishes

October 3, 2011 12:43 pm | Posted by Graham D

Food and Wine Pairings: Pasta dishes (Continued from Blog “Food and Wine Pairing”)

Introduction:- This Blog and the many more following will examine the pleasurable and often complex relationship between good food and wine, with the utlimate aim to assist our many discerning customers evolve the convivial bonding of good food and wine.

Food Being Featured:- Pasta dishes a a big favourite of so many around the world. A favourable feature dishes contain tastey sauces and these sauces create great flexibility regarding the choice of wine.

Challenges:- The challenge of pairing pasta dishes with wine can be exciting and enjoyable because of the accomodating nature of pasta. Many dishes will equally match a red, white, rose or sparkling wine. Where people have preferences, then you may wish to alter choices of different wine when serving you pasta dishes.

Recommendations:- Pasta is synonymos with Italy and convention often suggests serving Italian wines with Italian pasta dishes.Staying with tradition why not select a full bodied Chianti with a rich meat based dish such as lasagne or pasta with meatballs. Staying with the red wines and being a little experimental, why not pair a lite fruity Valpolicella or Brouilly with a seafood pasta dish flavoursome cheese sauce, the match can be perfect. For white wine lovers, try Pinot Grigio with Fellucine, Alfredo or Macaroni Cheese. For Rose wine lovers, try Le Pas de la Rhone, it’s the perfect match.

Main Directory :- Click on The Marriage of Food and Wine to access our quick search facility to locate hundreds of other food/wine/food pairing options, including hors-d’oeurves, starters, soups, main courses and deserts. Also view Great Friends-Cheese and Wine for cheese and wine pairing.

Next Article :- Vegetarian Dishes

Happy Pasta Dishes and Wine Pairing Days

Graham D

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Chairman’s Reserve Rum, St Lucia

August 21, 2011 5:49 pm | Posted by Del

Caribbean Rum at its very best

In 1922 , the Barnard family purchased the large sugar estate of Dennery. Ten years after that purchase, the young Denis Barnard founded a distillery at Dennery. The grandson of the original owners of Dennery is still the current Managing Director of St Lucia Distillers, now based at Roseau. The family run factory has been modernised over the years and new technologies and improvements constantly incorporated. A Pot Still was installed in 1998 and has meant that especially high quality flavourful rums which are still being aged , are now being produce. Two more Pot Stills have been introduced, adding to the variety of rums being produced.

chairmans-resChairman’s Reserve is a blend of doubled distilled pot still and column still rums, aged for up to five years in bourbon barrels. The pot still richness comes through on the nose along with juicy fruits and a hint of honey. A medium bodied palate with a soft feel, a hint of vanilla and spices. Delicious on its own, but works well in a Mojito and many other great drinks.

img_9394Chairman’s Reserve Spice is the latest addition to the St Lucia Distillers range. Based on the same high quality spirit, it has been infused with authentic Caribbean spices such as cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and vanilla and richeria grandis which is known locally as “bois bande” to create a genuine St Lucia experience.

Try it over ice with ginger beer or cranberry juice for a refreshing long drink,

Winner of Gold Medal “Best in Class ” International Wine and Spirit Competition, Winner of Double Gold Medal, San Francisco Spirits Competition

Rums of a very special nature

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RL Seale and Doorly’s Fine Rum

January 13, 2010 3:25 pm | Posted by Graham D

RL Seale is one of Barbados’s oldest trading houses, a family owned business whose involvement in rum-making extends from father-to-son since 1820. Current head distiller, Richard Seale, is one of the region’s most innovative distillers and blenders and has a passion for producing perfect with lots of great flavour.

The Foursquare Distillery occupies the site of a former sugar factory that dates back to 1636 and as one of the most modern and efficient rum distilleries in the world, is designed to be both highly energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The distillery produces light rums in a three-column vacuum still and their much heavier rums in a modern pot still.

The company’s major domestic brand E.S.A. Fields, the Island’s number one selling white rum and for export the Martin Doorly range. They also produce other famous rums, including: Alleyne Arthur, Old Brigand and Foursquare Spiced Rum.

Rum has been produced on the Island of Barbados for more than 300 years, but it was not until the 1906 Rum Duty Act was passed that the industry began to develop as we know it today. Prior to this , distillation took place on many of the plantations, but the new law meant the distilleries had to obtain a licence and could sell only in bulk. Hence many of the Bridgetown trading companies became bottlers, including Martin Doorly and the growth of branded names began.

Martin Doorly evolved into Doorly’s Macaw Rum and became the first bottled rum to be exported from the Island. Doorly’s rums are still famous throughout the world and are made at one of the world’s most modern rum distilleries, Foursquare Distillery.

Doorly’s Macaw white Barbados rum doorleys-white-rum_edited-1is a most refreshing rum and blends well to make some of the worlds finest cocktails.


Doorly’s 5 year old amber rum has age and beauty on its side, well balanced fruits with long lingering vanilla aftertastes.

                             To produce the unique character of img_1129_edited-1Doorly’s XO, very old rums are selected by the master blender and matured for a second time in Spanish oloroso sherry casks, producing a delicious fusing of the complex flavours from the cask and the well-aged rums.






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Rums of Distinction…Zacapa Rum

April 24, 2009 3:57 pm | Posted by James M

ZACAPA RUM         Zacapa are a rum producer from the Pacific coast of Guatemala, and produce their rums from ‘sugar cane honey’ (the juice of the cane with most of the water removed), as opposed to molasses. The rums are then developed as blends from different ages of the spirit. Their rums have all won numerous awards, and received an outstanding rating award from Wine Enthusiast magazine, obtaining 98/100. (www.classic-literature.co.uk)
Their rums are known as the Centenario range and are all highly sought after and hard to come by, and are considered ‘the Cognacs of rum’. The relatively recently produced Zacapa Centenario Rum XO is one that we have managed to locate a limited parcel of, and is perhaps one of the finest rums currently on the market.

img_5961Zacapa Centenario Rum XO is a blend of old rums which are aged using the solera system process. The rum is then matured in selected bourbon and pedro ximenez barrels, and is then given a final ageing in French oak to acquire elegance and sophistication.
The result is a rum which is dark mahogany in colour, and has an astonishing nose of wood, spice, vanilla, almond and chocolate. These flavours are replicated on a beautifully sweet yet concentrated palate, along with a thick, viscous and very smooth finish.
Although there is no age statement to this rum, it is claimed that it is blended from rums aged for more than 25 years. It also comes in a stunningly packaged Cognac style bottle, and although not inexpensive, will stand up to any other spirit currently on the market in terms of quality, refinement and price. Zacapa Centenario Rum XO (£93.10) certainly comes highly recommended.




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