When Paul left town for Mexico and I began a month-long housesitting stay, he gave me a bottle of Pyrat Rum as a gift. Blended and aged on the small island of Anguilla, the component rums come from throughout the Caribbean and spend up to 15 years on French and American oak. This is the product that used to be called Pyrat XO Reserve Planters Rum before the acquisition by Patrón (of tequila fame). Those interested in the differences can read more here. While the bottles are no longer hand blown, they are hand numbered and adorned with decorations. The metal tag around the neck depicts Hotei 布袋, the Buddhist god of contentment and happiness, today associated with bartenders.
This definitely falls under the category of a stinky rum meant for slow sipping, though I don't mean that in a bad way. There's a sort of funky blue cheese/orange peel/earthy aroma that some might find problematic. But if you love the manifold barnyard fragrances that come with good Scotch, then you can appreciate a rum like this. Truly, in the glass it acts much like a Scotch, with a texturally thin, powerful alcohol presence combined with a strong nose and flavor. On the palate, this one has a slightly sweet orange profile with luscious undertones of vanilla and oak. Makes me think of Christmas, and how some cloves and cinnamon would round things out nicely.
Despite the shape and size, this is a full 750 mL bottle modeled after old rum bottles from two hundred years ago. And let's be honest: a badonkadonk bottle like this isn't going to tip over during a storm. One of those tall, skinny, anorexic bottles will fall over if somebody sneezes, but if this one goes on its side, it means that the ship has flipped over and is headed for Davy Jones' locker.