Aged: No age statement
Product of: United Kingdom
This blended rum based spirit is flavoured with vanilla, lime and five spices and is claimed to be based on an original recipe by the famous tattoo artist Norman 'Sailor Jerry' Collins who died in 1973. The bottle's label is appropriately adorned with one of Collin's tattoos.
Norman Collins was born 1911 in Ukiah, California and by all accounts was something of a teenage bum until he met Tatt's Thomas, a famous Chicago tattoo artist, who trained him and set him up with his first tattoo machine.
At the age of 19, Collins joined the U.S. Navy, which took him to Southeast Asia where he was inspired by the local artwork. After an honourable discharge in the late 1920s he moved to Honolulu and opened his first tattoo shop with a partner, "Painless Tom". Here he perfected his boldly lined, vibrant coloured style incorporating Asian design elements, which became popular with passing sailors.
In March 2010, a new Sailor Jerry label and drier 41% alc./vol liquid was launched in the UK market. This was followed with yet another new, cleaner label in September 2014 but the liquid was not further changed although at some point the alcohol dropped to a still very respectable 40%.
Review and Tasting
Sampled on 06/03/2020
Clear, deep amber.
Newly tanned leather, stewed fruit (currants), cinnamon, clove, gingerbread, palma violet, lavender and vanilla.
Dry for a "spiced rum" with young sappy woody notes, green pepper, gingerbread, almond, vanilla and plump dried fruit.
Long Christmas spice and rum cake finish.
At 40% alc./vol. and with the merest touch of sweetness, this is a proper spiced "rum" rather than entering the sweet, liqueur-like territory of some "spirit drink" competitors. Sailor Jerry is comparatively dry with caramel, Christmas spice and blackened fruitcake.
Difford's Guide Certification
Bottle Size: 700 ml
Closure: Screw / Stelvin cap