Calico Jack Black Spiced Rum 750mL

We saw the name here and thought – hey that sounds vaguely familiar. Then the name John Rackham came up and we instantly knew it. Because of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. (This post sponsored by Ubisoft – but no not really we’d never take their money). However if we wanted to give a true lead-in before the fold we’d stop making video game reference and joke that this is less ‘Calico Jack’ and more ‘Carmel Jack’

We mean when we say that this is not a rum you buy because you want a black rum – you get Kraken for that because their marketing is just way better. No – let this review be a reminder that this is the rum you get when you want something that’s spent so much time in a caramel soaked cask that you’re only sure it’s rum because of how sexy it makes you feel.


What they Say: “In one of his more infamous conquests, John ‘Calico Jack’ Rackham used the cloak of darkness to row past a Spanish warship and capture a boat in their control. Swords and guns were no match for Calico Jack and the black of night. FLY YOUR OWN FLAG. Calico Jack Black, a bigger and bolder spiced rum. Take on your next adventure with a spiced rum as black as night.”


Taste: 6.0 – While that doesn’t live up to the aroma, the taste certainly is aligned with it. There’s a bit of rum and offness here that takes it from just a pure liquer

Aftertaste: 6.5 – You get that wave of a spiced rum when it hits the back, but make no mistake – the caramel is king here, and it reigns supreme.

Burn/Smooth: 6.5 – It does give some burn, and there’s a sailor’s warmth at the end. Arr. (Editor’s Note: We apologize for the over-zealousness of these comments) Overall it’s not bad, but that’s helped by the sugar almost a tad too much to make it a bit ‘tacky’ going down.

Aroma: 7.0 – If you said – ‘hey this is caramel liquor’ we’d believe you hook-line-and-sinker (pirate pun intended). No part of this smells like a rum, what it smells like is – hey put me in a fucken cake, or make a sauce out of me and brown sugar and put me over icecream.

Editor’s Note: I actually did the last one and HOLY BALLS was that good) Bonus points to mixability.

Honesty: 6.0 – First this isn’t as black as blackety-black vantablack – so points off for it’s over mention despite not being faithful. The look and story here suggest some high level piracy. But as you read it closely you recall he fought as a pirate did – cowardly. Metaphorically this rum may scream pirate, but like how they’re viewed today it’s severely neutered by sweet sentiments. Or in this case caramel so caramel-y that white girls ‘can’.

Mixability: 5.5

W/ Rocks: 2.5 – So that takes away all of the pain points the rum had, and leaves you with a Shaq commercial debating the right way to say caramel. As a mixed drink – no.

Rum and Coke: 8.5 – This is a PSA: DO NOT MIX WITH PEPSI OR YOU WILL GET DIABETES. Sorry we had to do that, but we need to be honest. As long as you adjust the ratios with Coke though and skip the lime that makes for a downright damn delicious drink.

Value: 6.5 – So Nelson’s is cheaper, but worse. Kraken is comparable, but costly. And it’s main contender Gosling’s is better but only just. All said and done this is nearly 5-6 dollars cheaper, and if you’re looking for a good coke mixer – you might have found it here.

Google Shop Average: $13



Reviewer Scores:

BuffaloJern: 7.0

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Metric Score: 44/70 |+| Metric Average: 6.29 |+| Reviewer Average: 7.0

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Final Thoughts: We mentioned last week with Boodles Gin that we bought something low and high. This was the low, and as we’ve found on HBR time and time again. Sometimes your low is low, but sometimes it’s not. When you find the one that’s not though – it’s all the more special. That being said – this is terrible as a rum. Absolutely horrible. As a caramel flavored coke mixer that’s fucken 94 Proof though? Fuck yeah.


I am the Buffalo editor and curator of Honest Booze Reviews

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