Pyrat XO Reserve Rum
So after my recent trip to the Jamaica and practically drinking rum the entire trip I decided it was probably time to start doing some rum reviews on this site. So I went to the liquor store and picked up a bottle that I had been eyeing for quite some time. Pyrat XO Reserve Rum, spelled the old english way is pronounced the same as pirate. This rum is distributed by the Patron spirits company, after learning that there are some easy comparisons to be drawn when looking at the bottle. The use of a small squatty bottle with some accent colors around the bottle really make this stand out on the shelf. That’s exactly what’s its been doing for me. As I said I’ve been eyeing this for a while and I finally pulled the trigger on it after knowing absolutely nothing about it.
So I did some research on this Pyrat XO Reserve Rum to see what it’s all about. According to their site, they source this rum from quite a few distilleries and carefully blend it. All the rum that they source has been created using a pot still. Many of the rums that are blended are well over 15 years old, and some are even distilled in a 300 year old wood still. So to say this rum has some character would be an understatement. In fact after the rum has been distilled it’s aged in a combination of French Limousin and American Oak barrels to produce the flavor that we’re about to discover. Needless to say I’m excited to dive into this rum and see what all it has to offer.
As I’m sure you know, I’m a huge sucker for packaging. Hell, that’s what lured me into this bottle in the first place. I was attracted by the orange ribbon and the small squatty bottle. However, it does have some other interesting features about the bottle that I was curious about. I didn’t notice them at first, but once I picked it up I saw a metallic medallion hanging off of the bottle neck. It has a little buddha on it who is smiling and along the side it says Pyrat Rums. This is a tribute to the Asian culture that is credited with the first discovery of cultivating sugar cane and essentially creating the process of distilling rum. The reason the “laughing buddha” or as they refer to him Hoti, was chosen is because according to ancient scrolls he had a large appetite for libations and he is the patron saint of fortunetellers and bartenders. So obviously that makes sense.
The next thing I notice on this bottle is the label on the back. It has a spot for the inspector to hand write in the bottle that they are bottling. This particular bottle was number 1,962,885. That’s pretty high up there so I’d venture to say they have this rum thing down! This Hoti character appears all over the bottle. Not only is he on the medallion, he’s on the label, and he’s on the tassel also hanging around the neck of the bottle. I guess they really like this little buddha.
When I uncorked this bottle, I couldn’t help but smell the cork and the aromas rising up through the air. I was incredibly excited to pour a glass of this and see what it had to offer. I had stared at it long enough, it’s time to take a sip!
Right when I pop the cork on this Pyrat XO Reserve Rum I’m hit with waves of citrus and other fruit. They range from orange all the way to apricot. These notes are very distinct and I’ve never experienced them with any other rum. So I was taken back a bit and I thought to myself, is this actually rum or something else? I’ve had some peach mango rum that obviously has some help with the infusion of flavors along the way. The same might hold true for this rum, but there is one thing for sure. The nose on this spirit is outstanding and it definitely got me ready to make a nice long pour in my glass. Alongside the notes of orange and apricot I’m definitely picking up some vanilla. After all my experience with bourbon, I would say most of these notes are from the American oak barrels it’s aged in. Just a hunch, but one that I can fairly surely support.
There seems to be a trend with this Pyrat XO Reserve Rum. One of the first things I experience when this rum hits my palate is the intense flavor of apricot. It reminded me of apricot jam that I sometimes spread on my toast. The taste was so distinct it was incredible. There was definitely a combination of orange / citrus in there, but the dominant note was apricot. It’s actually quite refreshing to the palate. I didn’t quite know what to expect when it first hit my tongue but it was a truly pleasant experience. When I wasn’t picking up on the apricot, there was another flavor that kept peering it’s head through the flavor profile. That sweet taste of honey. I’ll be honest and say I was actually expecting to taste some honey from this rum. It seems to be one of those flavors that always comes out in an aged rum. It just doesn’t seem to be a rum unless you can pull out some honey notes while sipping on it. So we’ve got some apricot, citrus, and other sweet flavors, let’s see how this Pyrat XO Reserve Rum finishes. See if they can wrap it all up in a nice bow for us.
For me, the finish on a spirit is one of the most important aspects of the entire experience. If it doesn’t sit well with you at the end it’s probably going to leave a bad taste in your mouth, both figuratively and literally. After the exceptional experience of this Pyrat XO Reserve Rum thus far I’m really hoping that it finishes well and I think they’ll have a total package on their hands. Lucky for me, and you, that’s exactly what it did. The finish was very smooth, it wasn’t quick or long, it was right in the middle. We’ll call it a medium finish, it lingered just long enough to give you a full view of what it had going on. Yet, it was also quick enough to make you want to take another sip and find more complexities. It even had some heat to it, not quite like bourbon, but if you drink this Pyrat XO Reserve Rum neat it’s gonna warm your chest a bit. In fact, that’s the way I suggest you drink it. Others have suggested to use it as a mixer, personally, I think it’s too good of a rum to do that. That’s just my personal preference being such a bourbon lover I would never mix this rum.
Pyrat XO Reserve Rum: 9/10
This was really hard for me to judge. I haven’t had a ton of premium rums. Only the large blended stuff that is typically used in Cuba Libres (Rum & Cokes). I wanted to give this a 10 because I really enjoyed it, but I don’t have much of a benchmark for comparison right now. So hopefully I can experience some other rums soon and come back and re-examine this Pyrat XO Reserve Rum. I will say I thoroughly enjoyed it and I think I finished this bottle faster than any other bottle of rum or bourbon I’ve ever purchased. So that’s gotta say something to the drinkability of this rum. I know the price tag is a little high for a rum at $40, but do yourself a favor and give it a shot. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with it.