There’s a dearth of spiced rums on the market, and a severe shortage of ones that are any good. (We’re fans of Kilo Kai, but it remains terribly hard to find at retail.)
Sailor Jerry is the personal recipe of Jerry Collins, a 1920s Hawaiian tattoo artist and apparently quite the rum connoisseur. Distilled in the U.S. Virgin Islands and bottled at a hot 92 proof, Sailor Jerry welcomes you with a ukulele-playing hula girl and a nose full of caramel. The “spice” component of Sailor Jerry is less than you’ll find in other spiced rums, but its more than made up for with that sugary, caramel flavor that makes what sounds like an overly alcoholic wine surprisingly smooth.
I tried it against Kilo Kai and it was night and day: Kilo’s citrus notes (and low proof) made it easy to sip straight, but Jerry’s caramel made it a fuller (and darker colored) spirit and perhaps a little better with Coke. Both are knockout rums, but quite different. Any rum fan — especially the spiced rum fan — should seek out a bottle. At prices like this, it practically drinks itself!
A- / $17 / sailorjerryrum.com