7 Tasty Rums Perfect For A Dark ’n Stormy


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With seas that have claimed many an unsuspecting ship, the Dark ’n Stormy was destined to become Bermuda’s national drink. The best rums for a Dark ’n Stormy style cocktail should be rich with molasses, vanilla and spices.

As the story goes… In 1806, James Gosling was travelling from Gravesend in England to Virginia. However, they docked at Bermuda due to overly calm weather. Gosling settled down there and used his family’s background in spirits to start a rum distillery.

In time, Gosling’s rum became known as Black Seal Rum, the classic ingredient in the trademarked drink known as the Dark ’n Stormy. Gosling’s has a trademark on the Dark ’n Stormy requiring it to be made only with their rum.

What Is A Dark ’n Stormy?

At its heart, a classic Dark ’n Stormy is quite simply Gosling’s Black Seal Rum mixed with ginger beer and garnished with a lime wedge. You can also add a dash of lime juice, some simple syrup, or even a couple of drops of Angostura bitters.

Best Rums For A Dark ’n Stormy

I’ve selected 7 of the best rums for a Dark ’n Stormy starting with the original rum for making this trademarked drink: Gosling’s Black Seal Rum.

1. Gosling’s Black Seal Rum

Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
Credit: Gosling’s

Overview

  • Distiller: Gosling’s Rum
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: Bermuda
  • Colour: Burgundy

Review

When the first rum distillates arrived in Bermuda in 1860, Gosling Brothers created the blend known as Old Rum. From 1914 they sold it in reclaimed champagne bottles sealed with black wax, and customers began asking for “Black Seal” rum. A play on words gave the logo of a black seal.

Gosling’s Black Seal is a dark rum blended in Bermuda from triple pot-distilled rums from Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and aged in charred American oak casks for 3 to 6 years.

On The Nose

This rum displays rich molasses, fruitcake, banana, cinnamon, and vanilla.

On The Palate

Black Seal reveals vanilla, butterscotch, and stewed fruits, leading to spicy cinnamon and brown sugar middle-palate. The finish is long, tingling, yet relatively crisp.

Best Served

Best served in a Dark ’n Stormy, mixed with Coke or enjoyed as a sipping rum.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

2. Gosling’s Papa Seal Single Barrel Bermuda Rum

Gosling’s Papa Seal Single Barrel Bermuda Rum
Credit: Gosling’s

Overview

  • Distiller: Gosling’s Rum
  • ABV: 41.5% (83 Proof)
  • Country: Bermuda
  • Colour: Mahogany

Review

First released in 2018, Gosling’s ultra-premium rum is limited to just 12 barrels a year. It is named for the patriarch of the Gosling family, Malcolm Gosling, known to friends and family as “Papa Seal.”

The bottles are hand-labelled with a label featuring the bottling date, barrel number, and bottle number. (source)

Papa Seal is produced from pot and column distilled rums aged between 10 and 21 years in once-used ex-bourbon barrels with medium char before being aged for another 2 years in American white oak.

On The Nose

A spicy leather aroma initially, then molasses, vanilla and banana.

On The Palate

Smooth caramel and vanilla mingle with banana bread, toffee, and molasses, with overtones of nutmeg, leading to a lingering, dry finish.

Best Served

Best served neat as a sipping rum or as a rather decadent (and expensive!) Dark ’n Stormy.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

3. Angostura Premium 1824 Rum

Angostura Premium 1824 Rum
Credit: Angostura

Overview

  • Distiller: Angostura
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: Trinidad and Tobago
  • Colour: Deep Amber

Review

Launched in 2000 as Angostura’s flagship rum, 1824 commemorates the founding year that Dr Johann G.B. Siegert created the bitters we now know and love as Angostura bitters.

Angostura Premium 1824 is an award-winning rum that is a hand-blended combination of Trinidad and Tobago rums aged in charred oak barrels for at least 12 years.

On The Nose

This rum has a spicy, fruity aroma of nutmeg, vanilla, and rich molasses.

On The Palate

Smooth chocolate, orange zest, and burnt sugar notes combine with hints of tobacco, vanilla, oak, and dried fruits. A spicy, fruity finish.

Best Served

Flavoursome in a Dark ’n Stormy or enjoy as a sipping rum.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

4. Plantation O.F.T.D. Rum

Plantation O.F.T.D. Rum
Credit: Plantation

Overview

  • Distiller: Plantation
  • ABV: 69% (138 Proof)
  • Country: Caribbean
  • Colour: Mahogany

Review

Alexandre Gabriel and six collaborating rum experts created this Plantation overproof blend known as Plantation Old Fashioned Traditional Dark (the official explanation for O.F.T.D.) at Maison Ferrand.

An overproof dark rum, Plantation O.F.T.D. is a blend of rums from Jamaica (fermented for 2 weeks), Barbados (fermented for 72 hours), and Guyana (fermented for 1 week).

On The Nose

Coffee, orange and jammy plum aromas with hints of brown sugar.

On The Palate

Initial plum and caramel flavours give way to banana and pineapple with notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and dry oak. The finish is dry, oaky, and hints of chocolate and spice.

Best Served

Best served in a Dark ’n Stormy, in a tiki cocktail, or drinks such as a rum and coffee or dark rum flip.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

5. Ron Zacapa 23

Ron Zacapa 23
Credit: Ron Zacapa

Overview

  • Distiller: Ron Zacapa
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: Guatemala
  • Colour: Dark Amber

Review

Launched in 1976, Ron Zacapa 23 is produced from the first pressing of virgin sugarcane and fermenting the juice with yeasts derived initially from pineapples. It is aged in warehouses in the soaring Guatemalan mountains.

An aged rum, Ron Zacapa 23, goes through the “Sistema Solera” ageing process at 2300 metres above sea level (source), giving the rum a unique flavour and smoothness. The result is a blend of rums between 6 and 23 years old.

On The Nose

Reveals caramel, brazil nuts, and cacao aromas with hints of banana and pineapple notes.

On The Palate

Ron Zacapa is complex and flavoursome, with dried fruit, molasses notes, and overtones of leather and coffee, leading to lingering cinnamon, cacao, and spiced oak finish.

Best Served

Ideal for a tasty Dark ’n Stormy, a Zacapa Rum Martinez, or enjoyed as a sipping rum.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

6. Pusser’s Rum Gunpowder Proof

Pusser's Rum Gunpowder Proof
Credit: Pusser’s

Overview

  • Distiller: Pusser’s
  • ABV: 54.5% (109 Proof)
  • Country: Caribbean
  • Colour: Dark Amber

Review

Pusser’s is a navy-strength rum produced from a blend of five rums from Trinidad and Guyana distilled in wooden stills. Pusser’s still makes their rum to the Admiralty’s official blending recipe from when Royal Navy sailors were issued rum.

A little history of rum… In days gone by, Royal Navy “Pussers” (logistics officers) proved that the rum had not been watered down by mixing gunpowder and rum and lighting it. If the mixture still ignited, it showed the rum was at the proper proof. (source)

On The Nose 

Rich molasses, sweet treacle and toffee notes blend with oak, ginger, nutmeg, and vanilla spice.

On The Palate

A rich and full-bodied combination of molasses, vanilla, ginger and coffee with a smooth woody middle. A long finish with burnt caramel, plum, and spice.

Best Served

The perfect addition for a Dark ’n Stormy, enjoy as a sipping rum or a Rum & Coke

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

7. Diplomatico Rum Reserva Exclusiva

Diplomatico Rum Reserva Exclusiva
Credit: Diplomatico

Overview

  • Distiller: Diplomatico
  • ABV: 40% (80 Proof)
  • Country: Venezuela
  • Colour: Brown

Review

Distillers in Venezuela have produced rum since 1896, and the country has been at the forefront of the rum renaissance. You will find the Diplomatico distillery on the north slope of the Andes.

A blend of 80% molasses pot still rum and 20% light rums, Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva is aged up to 12 years. This is a multi-award-winning rum that is worth paying a premium for.

On The Nose

Vibrant orange zest and sweet liquorice are soothed by silky-smooth toffee.

On The Palate

Caramelized banana, orange zest, and chocolate with overtones of plum. Brown sugar and vanilla middle lead to a lingering toffee fudge finish with hints of exotic spice.

Best Served 

Excellent in a Dark ’n Stormy, as a sipping rum, or cocktails such as the Old Fashioned and Rum Mule.

Pricing & Info

You can check the latest pricing, product information, and order online.

Seperator

Andrew’s Top Pick

best rums for a Dark ’n Stormy

Ron Zacapa 23 Rum

Based on flavour rather than tradition, Ron Zacapa 23 is my top pick rum for a Dark ’n Stormy style drink. The dried fruit, molasses notes, leather, coffee, cinnamon, and cacao work brilliantly with the ginger beer kick.

Don’t forget that Gosling’s Black Seal Rum will give you the full-on Dark ’n Stormy experience.

Dark ’n Stormy Recipe

Dark ’n Stormy Recipe
How to make a classic Dark ’n Stormy

Ingredients

Method

Add ice to a highball glass. Pour in the ginger beer first, and float the rum over it to create the classic stormy sky effect. Garnish with a lime wedge. Mix with a bar spoon or swizzle stick before drinking.

Conclusion

The Dark ’n Stormy is a versatile cocktail ideal for chilly autumn/winter evenings or as a refreshing tipple for breezy days by the seaside.

The taste of this drink rests on the quality of the ingredients. Start with some premium genuine ginger beer and pair it with one of these excellent rums for an exceptional drinking experience.

Gosling’s has a trademark on the Dark ’n Stormy requiring it to be made only with their rum. For this reason, some bartenders call their variation a Safe Harbor.

Further Reading

Below are some additional articles from The Drinks Geek blog. We write articles on several fascinating areas of drinks, including different brands, drink types, cocktail recipes and more.

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