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Gosling’s revive a classic label

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Get ready to experience a sense of déjà vu when you purchase a bottle of Gosling's Black Seal rum during the next few months, because retro bottles featuring the same label design used in the 1960s are about to hit the shelves.

For a limited time the iconic Island drink is being sold in bottles that resemble those from 50 years ago.

It was half-a-century ago that visiting sailors first started taking bottles of the Bermuda spirit back with them on-board their yachts to share with friends overseas.

Today, the rum is exported around the world, and in the last 10 years more than one million cases have been sold internationally.

However, in the days of the “pink label” it was very much a Bermuda-exclusive spirit that was loved by Bermudians and soon found equal favour among the crews of visiting yachts.

Fittingly, as Gosling's prepares to launch its America's Cup range later this year, having been named as the official rum and official ginger beer of the 35th America's Cup, the company is dipping its toes into its past to remember a bygone era.

The pink label, the first colourful label to adorn bottles of Black Seal, has been dusted off to be used on a limited release of bottles which will only be for sale in Bermuda.

“Now is a good point in time to recognise where we have been and where we are going,” explained Charles Gosling, managing director.

“In the 1960s the visiting yachtsmen discovered the product and took it back with them to the States, and that woke up the rest of the Island to how good a product it was.”

Andrew Holmes, brand manager at Gosling's Export (Bermuda) Ltd, said: “We've always wanted to do a throwback label. This is a good chance to take a look back to show what an impact Gosling's has had on the world.

“We now export around the world, but back then you had to come to Bermuda to get a bottle.”

Gosling's rum continues to be blended and aged in Bermuda, with bottling for the domestic market done at the company's Dundonald Street premises. The labels for the retro bottles are also being printed in Bermuda.

In the past, marketing of the rum cleverly played up its hard to obtain credentials, using the advertising line “unavailable just about anywhere”.

That is not so much the case today. Mr Gosling has heard stories from travellers who have encountered the rum being served as far away as Sydney, Singapore and South Africa. And Gosling's Black Seal is renowned as a key ingredient for Dark n' Stormy cocktails.

Mr Gosling said the UK market is showing promising sales growth, particularly now that the rum is tied in with the America's Cup.

Meanwhile, Malcolm Gosling, president of Gosling's Export, said: “We are grateful for the many loyal, local supporters who over the many years have made Black Seal the spirit of Bermuda.

“This limited release pays tribute to them and will only be available in Bermuda.”

Sales of the retro bottles of Black Seal rum are due to start this week. The company expects to move on to producing its America's Cup branded bottles some time in September.

Blast from the past: Charles Gosling holds a bottle of Gosling's Black Seal rum featuring the retro label that is a close copy of the one used on the bottles of rum in the 1960s. A limited supply of the retro bottles are being produced for sale exclusively in Bermuda
Sealing the bottles: The bottling operation at Gosling's Limited. The Bermuda company is making a limited number of Gosling's Black Seal Rum retro bottles for sale exclusively in Bermuda
Sealing the bottles: The bottling operation at Gosling's Limited. The Bermuda company is making a limited number of Gosling's Black Seal Rum retro bottles for sale exclusively in Bermuda
Special edition: One of the Gosling's Black Seal rum bottles featuring the retro “pink label”

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Published August 03, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated August 02, 2015 at 9:13 pm)

Gosling’s revive a classic label

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