Tag Archives: spiced rum

Twenty Boat Spiced Rum

twenty boat spiced rum

We recently had a little fun on the podcast at the expense of Twenty Boat Spiced Rum. A rum from Cape Cod? If you heard the episode, however, you noted how quickly the jokes ended when we tasted Twenty Boat.

Distilled by South Hollow Spirits in Massachusetts, who distills both Twenty Boat Spiced and Twenty Boat Amber Rum, this is a spiced rum to try if you see it (it’ll run you about $45 a bottle). With spices like vanilla, cinnamon and chai in the mix, Twenty Boat ends up lead by a strong butterscotch note most of all.

love to use spiced rums in my rum-and-cokes (made in a 1:3 ratio) because the spices in the rum usually closely pair and complement the flavor or Coke, and Twenty Boat fits the bill. I’ve found that if a spiced rum isn’t strong enough and spiced enough (duh), that it tastes too watery and bland. Twenty Boat doesn’t suffer from wither of these and it comes in at a impressive 95 proof. Because of the high proof, Twenty Boat is a decent sipping rum too, and a good pairing on the rocks with a cigar.


Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum

sailor jerry rum

It’s interesting how, after blogging about booze and cocktails for 5 years, you miss things. I’ve had a few bottles of Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum in the last several years, but I realized that I haven’t actually written about SJ yet!

I’m just going to tell you that Sailor Jerry is my favorite spiced rum (Breckenridge is my 2nd fave). There are several things that make it a stand-out from competitors (such as Bacardi Oakheart or Captain Morgan). First, Sailor Jerry is higher alcohol at 46% – Oakheart and the Captain are 35%. SJ is also commonly sold in 1L bottles (as opposed to 750ml) in many places.

The flavor of Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum is the biggest differentiator, though. It’s less sweet-tasting, yet remains smooth and palatable. It is great in a Rum and Coke as the spices of SJ, like clove, cinnamon, and vanilla, are almost a one-for-one companion to the flavoring in Coca-Cola. Compared with it’s competitors, who offer a fruitier, sweeter spiced rum, Sailor Jerry is spicier, a touch more bitter, and more complex than others on the market.

I make my Sailor Rum+Cokes like this (pictured above):

Sailor Jerry Rum and Coke

  • in an old fashioned glass filled with ice, add:
  • 2 oz Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
  • some Coca-Cola, between a splash and 1 oz


Acrylic barware courtesy of JCPenny.

Walk the Line: Cockspur

cockspur rum

Cockspur is a rum you’ll see quite a bit of throughout the world (they have pretty wide distribution), but I hadn’t really run across it here in the U.S. until I started doing some homework for a recent rum+cigar pairing event I hosted.

Dating back to 1884 in Barbados, Cockspur has a pretty varied catalog of rums that will cover you for about any type of rum you may need, and because of this, I think they’ve earned a deserved place in our Walk the Line series.

Here’s a brief summary of each, pictured from left to right above:

Cockspur Overproof. So there’s really only 2 uses for overproof rum, which in this case clocks in at 65% ABV. Some tiki recipes use it as an ingredient, but mostly it’s the think you put in a volcano glass to light on fire in the middle. At $20 a bottle, Cockspur overproof is overwhelmingly butterscotch on both the nose and palate, but it’s not really meant to drink by itself.

Cockspur Fine. Let’s call this “regular” Cockspur. Aged a little bit, this rum has a cinnamon-and-sugar candy taste that has very little alcohol burn. It is a great fit for cocktails and is even good enough at $15-20 to sip on.

Cockspur Spiced. Spiced rums are my favorite choice for rum-and-Cokes, and Cockspur is one I haven’t tried before. The spice you’ll find here is really a Christmasy clove experience in the scent, but it’s surprisingly watery and sweet in the finish. In the $15 range, try this one if you love cloves.

Cockspur Old Gold. Now we’re getting into the truly aged Cockspurs. At 5 years old, this is a spicier rum than Fine, with some nutty banana flavors meeting the woody spice of the barrel. Definitely a sipping rum at $20-25 a bottle, this is a definite middle ground between the sweet Fine and the woody VSOR 12.

Cockspur VSOR 12. “Very Special Old Reserve” is a blend of rums up to 12 years old, and is spicier still than Old Gold. Almost apple-like in both flavor and nose, Cockspur VSOR 12 was the runaway favorite at our cigar pairing event and it’s only $30 a bottle. A great cigar pairer and a fun choice for a whiskey drinker who’s looking to experiment with aged rums, too.