The first thing you notice about the R.L. Seale's is its magnificent bottle - it looks as if it's had one too many flagons of fine rum and then fallen asleep in front of a roaring fire. I am told the bottle's unique shape is meant to replicate the leather pouches sailors used to carry their rum in and it works for me.
But there is much more to this rum than its funky bottle - this is another excellent spirit which, at 43%, would even warm the cockles of old Blackbeard's dark heart.
The nose is simply sublime, with buttery fudge, vanilla, baked apples and a dusting of spicy cinnamon making this old pirate very happy. The taste and finish are even better, with lots of delicious dried fruit swirling with cherry bakewell and sugary lemon tart. Crashing waves of vanilla then wash over the tongue, while wood, as dry as a well-used galleon's plank, holds everything together.
In my mind, it compares very favourably with the El Dorado 12 and if you find that a little too sweet, give the R.L Seale's a try, as it's not as sweet but still has that wonderful complexity.
This is a warming and comforting drink which is best savoured neat. Another exceptional rum I would be quite happy to be stranded with if I was shipwrecked on a desert island.