Review: Jack Tar Superior

Rating: ★★★★☆
Jack Tar Superior

Rum is made with molasses. As such, molasses is a common factor in the very nature of the rum flavor. Sure, there are often other subtle facets – fruits, spices, leather, etc. But molasses is so much a part of rum that many folks don’t seem to differentiate one from the other. But sometimes a dark rum comes along that transcends – and escapes – the molasses and becomes wholly and truly rum.

Jack Tar smells cool and heavy – and shamelessly of rum, plain and true. It’s not brown sugar, it’s not molasses – it’s rum. And just a bit peppery. It has a hint of undefined sweetness – not fruit or sugar, just sweetly rum (there’s that word again.) To the taste, Jack Tar is a whole-mouth experience. Where some rums seem to settle on one part of the tongue or another, Jack Tar envelopes and conquers it all, spreading instant warmth and spice throughout. It’s surpisingly smooth, but is followed with a wonderfully satisfying bite after you swallow, leaving the roof of your mouth all happy and tingly. Subsequent sips build on the first, leading to an increasingly warm and deep experience.

Jack Tar’s website boasts that their rum holds up well to another Jamaican rum, Appleton V/X (certainly a decent rum, especially for new inductees.) Sadly, they do themselves a disservice with this statement, as Jack Tar actually holds it’s own against Appleton’s superior Extra, or even Pusser’s Blue Label. Like these premium rums, Jack Tar is upfront and uncomplicated, and yet it boldly captures so much of what a top shelf rum should be.

But here’s the kicker… Jack Tar isn’t top shelf, or premium. At least, not if you look at the price tag. At $15 a bottle, Jack Tar is a steal and handily trumps my staple Gosling’s Black Seal as a best buy – it’s easily on par with rums two or three times its price. I sincerely recommend snagging a bottle and giving it a try – pick one up for me while you’re at it.

7 thoughts on “Review: Jack Tar Superior

  1. Hmmm… It used to be there, listed with all the others, but seems to have been removed. I don’t think the rum itself ever had a unique page of its own, so I don’t know where that leaves it. Discontinued? New distributor? Limbo?

  2. At The Rum Project Forum and after reviewing over 100 rums I have come to appreciate real rums, particularly those with a Jamaican element that emanates from their unique fermentation and dunder, or mock pits.

    Bilge, you are absolutely correct to call this a “Best Buy” for this pungent and hearty Jamaican rum (bottled in S. Africa). Jack Tar is a clear lighter amber with medium legs. Please approach it carefully and let it air. A very high nosing revealed a nice light, sweet orangy vanilla cream caramel. Go in and the Jamaican pot still dunder takes over, along with a deep tarry orange leather. The palate opens smooth and sweet – a deep, dark orange – and builds to a black licorice, astringent leather and hot white pepper mouth and throat finish and aftertaste.

    This is my kind of rum.

    Full review at

  3. interesting thing – here in south africa, where this rum is bottled, it’s branded “jack tarr” with two r’s instead of one. everything else about the bottle (and, i would assume, its contents) is exactly the same, from the pirate and parrot image to the “superior blended dark rum” underneath.

    go figure.

  4. I have just tried this rum and was looking for some reviews. Most of what I taste is the strong anise (licorice) flavor, but that’s not a bad thing, it has a nice authentic flavor. I’m not crazy about the name, though… Jack Tar doesn’t sound so appetizing.

  5. I start drinking Jack Tar al long time ago after I tried other brands of Rum
    I am now stuck with Jack Tar because the taste is unique and it is just nice
    to drink..
    I’m so crazy about it that when I buy a 750ml, it last me maybe 5 hours..
    Most of the times I ran out of JT fuel then I have to go to bed..
    But then, I have a couple of the small 50ml bottles then I take
    1 last shot before I go to bed….
    My wife said to me the other day that I must brand my bakkie with the
    Jack Tar logo’s and stuff on it because I am totally crazy about Jack Tar Rum
    that I will do any thing for a shot.

    Best Regards

  6. I concur with Wouter. I started drinking Jack Tarr back in 1987 (South Africa) till this day. Unique taste…beats most of the more expensive rums, like Captain Morgan, Red Heart, etc.

    Funny enough, the thought of branding my car with the Jack Tarr logo has also ran through my mind…


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