Review: Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum

Review: Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum

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 Spiced Navy Rum 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!

92 proof.


Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Allen on September 3, 2008 at 10:27 am

    This is probably my favorite rum for mixing. Not the best on it’s own, but then I don’t usually drink rum on it’s own ever so that works for me.

  2. Edoc on September 15, 2008 at 11:34 am

    I saw this on the shelves of my local liquor store on Saturday, and I picked it up based on your review. I’m more of an Angostura / El Dorado fan for sipping rums, but for rum & cokes this is pretty hard to beat.

  3. CherryEyed on September 19, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    I love this stuff. I drink it weekly with some friends. it’s like a tradition.

    One thing I like about the bottles are the different “pin-up” girls on the inside of the label.

  4. Jeff on January 19, 2009 at 12:31 am

    My go-to rum to get drunk. High in proof, cheap ($12), and mixes with just about anything. Try it with cherry Coke sometime. I swear it brings out a vanilla flavor

  5. Rae Cardwell on March 27, 2009 at 5:27 am

    When the beach is too far away, and class has got me bogged down, there is nothing like a nice Sailor Jerry and Coke. Always a favorite, and a hit at any campus party! At such a reasonable price, no other rum has the quality taste of Sailor Jerry’s. I encourage you to try it with a wedge of lime next time you mix it with Coke.

  6. Josh Burdine on February 21, 2010 at 11:20 pm

    I’ve tried nearly every readily available rum in my corner of the U.S.(including $50+ a bottle bathwater trash) and I must say that Coke was clearly invented for the purpose of mixing with Sailor Jerry. Even neat, chilled or on the rocks, the robust but surprisingly smooth flavor makes this my favorite spirit of any kind. Far superior to captain whats-his-name-again?

  7. Paul on March 13, 2010 at 9:56 am

    Sailor Jerry is not the personal recipe of of Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins. Is a clever marketing for William Grant & Sons Its bottled in NJ….It is harsh as hell…

  8. Anonymous on September 9, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    This is not a sipping rum, this is a mixing rum, there is a difference. For mixing, it is one of the better spiced rums I have found. Usually, the normal spiced rums get lost in translation with the mix, not Sailor!

  9. Trish on September 23, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I love this rum. Ive found that it mixes very well with both Sugar Free Rockstar, and Diet Cherry Pepsi. It comes off incredibly vanilla and almost too easy to drink with either.

    And at $10.99 for the 750ml, you cant beat the price per hangover ratio.

  10. Anonymous on November 18, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    This is now my everyday go to rum.

  11. john on November 30, 2010 at 11:33 am

    meh whats all th hype about. stick to making apparel! if rum needs to be mixed than its not that great. strong, no question – but sippable now thats questionable.

  12. angel and fairy tattoo on March 1, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Awesome dude.That’s Very Nice. Two thumbs up.

  13. Caitlin on December 11, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    This made my roommate so drunk she threw up violently and put a cigarette out on herself.

  14. Andy on December 30, 2011 at 4:17 am

    Bought my first bottle of Sailor back in my first year of college simply because I liked the label and it’s been my liquor of choice ever since. It’s a bit harsh, but it’s not bad to drink straight as a shot or just a pull from the bottle. As far as mixers go, I love it with Dr. Pepper. You just get Dr. Pepper with a an extra thump and a warm feeling in your belly. No nasty rubbing alcohol taste like with Captain or most of the other rums at Sailor’s price point. If you’re going to drink it with Coke, I highly recommend throwing the Sailor on ice, splash a small amount of Malibu Coconut over that, and fill the rest with Coke.

  15. claire on September 23, 2012 at 2:02 am

    im sure my partner had another type of sailor jerry called vanilla and lime. i was looking at buying it last year and found a website that stocked both. now i can only find the normal sailor jerry. anyone know where i could get and if there is another one? thanks :)

  16. Todd on August 23, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    If you love vanilla, this is the rum for you. It mixes well with cola, orange soda, and ginger ale. It also goes great with hot cocoa, chai, and coffee. It should fare well for baking and desserts as well. Personally, I would prefer a spicier rum, but it’s still a great rum for its price point. It’s more substantial than Admiral Nelson and I prefer it to Captain.

  17. Herbert on August 27, 2014 at 4:17 am

    Last week I dreamed about a giant pan filled with bacon and there is a little kid sitting in the midst of it, eating it.

  18. Matt on April 27, 2016 at 3:47 am

    I just drank a fifth of Sailor Jerry with Coke in one sitting to mourn Bernie Sanders’ losses in 4 state primaries…I concur with what is said here: excellent flavor and great buzz! Not gonna lie, I puked a little, though…worth it!

  19. Becky Galope on December 6, 2019 at 2:10 am

    I tried Sailor Jerry to celebrate Comrade Bernie Sanders failing wonderfully in the Demonrat debates. Stalin is not pleased…..
    Very strong. It sneaks up on you. Best on the rocks or with a little half-&-half. Very interesting for the price point. Better than the “captain”.

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