05 April 2010

Pyrat XO Reserve

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.

8 comments:

fredric koeppel said...

actually my bottle of Pyrat, which I got many years ago, is a tall thin bottle. it's great stuff. i thought no one knew about it but me, but I guess Patron ruined that secret.

Benito said...

Fredric,

As a short stocky guy, I just had to stand up for a bottle with a certain center of gravity. :)

Different types of Pyrat rum have shipped in different shapes and sizes--is yours the 375 mL pistol? With regards to the 750 mL Planters/XO Reserve, the shape has stayed the same but like I said the bottle is no longer hand-blown: examples here and here.

Of course, Patrón is making a whole hell of a lot more of this stuff than the independent Pyrat used to, and the specific details of what distilleries contribute in what quantities are kept secret. I do know that the older bottles are much sought after, and occasionally a collector will find an old case in an out-of-the-way liquor store.

Cheers,
Benito

Brett Sutcliffe said...

Classic look bottle. I guess with that bottle it cant be cheap.

fredric koeppel said...

yes, i think mine was the pistol.

Benito said...

Brett,

I usually don't put prices on here when I get a gift since I don't know, but this rum runs $25-45 in different parts of the country. Certainly not cheap, but there are aged rums that go $100+ out there.

Fredric,

I was talking to a guy who is just starting to get into spirits and cocktails, and one thing I warned him about was the bottles. No two products are the same shape or size. Organization becomes a nightmare and it never looks neat and tidy.

Cheers,
Benito

silverspy said...

I have been drinking Pyrat for many years now, I love it ! I even use it to make my rum and cokes with.

JimmyB said...

I love this stuff. I stumbled onto it by accident one afternoon in a bar. Its more expensive over here in Australia due to import duty and taxes on alcohol but its well worth the extra expense.

i quite enjoy it with a squeeze of lime and a dash of coke on a hot day.

Benito said...

Jimmy B,

At the very least, you can say that it's a considerable improvement over Bundy. ;)

Cheers,
Benito