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Rum Review: Pyrat XO Rum

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How do you rate Pyrat XO Rum (5 is best)?
 0%  [ 0 ]
 27%  [ 3 ]
 27%  [ 3 ]
 36%  [ 4 ]
 9%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 11

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Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot

Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3499
Location: Paradise: Fort Lauderdale of course...

PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 5:49 am    Post subject: Rum Review: Pyrat XO Rum Reply with quote

Pyrat XO Rum: "Orange Marmalade Glaze"

The first bottle of rum I ever bought was Mount Gay XO. Second was Zacapa 23, and third was Pyrat XO. All very different, all well respected, all well reviewed and all (barely) falling in the Compleat Idiot's budget. I still recall having Sue Sea's niece and her boyfriend over for a crude rum tasting and how we nearly finished off the Pyrat. Ryan now drinks nothing but.

But I gotta be honest. Pyrat really does belong in the Tie Dye category, particularly the Pistol but also XO. Are there additives or flavorings in Pyrat? Survey sez...

Probably. More about this, but first the reviews:

Sue Sea:

I love the Pyrat XO's bottle - it is stunning and will be one of the highlights on your top shelf or liquor cabinet. To me the bottle is an important part of the experience. Jim and I had come upon a closeout on Pyrat Pistol and decided it would be fun to compare the two. XO is definitely my favorite - lighter, smoother, more sophisticated. Its wonderful aroma is like an orange-apricot nectar. Touch of banana. Like a jam or marmalade with a deeper, thicker aroma than fresh. Or like jam cooking in the pot. I also picked up a nice roasted caramel, vanilla and a nutbread like almond. The XO's taste was smoother, more creamy and is consistent, reflecting its orange/apricot aroma. The body is syrupy, like a caramel dissolving in your mouth. The finish is medium long, smooth, warm and peppery. Lovely.

A Saturday afternoon, barbequing rum.


Right on Sue Sea, ditto for me. Color is light amber, slow thick legs (a tip off). But I'd definitely add a slightly burnt, smokey aroma - although Sue Sea may be referring to this by her "cooking marmalade" reference. My earlier tastings of XO found it to be cloyingly sweet, syrupy and smokey - attractive to the new drinker but effects that you grow out of. And that's where I left things until this retasting against Pyrat Pistol - a real Tie Dye rum.

In this context, XO compares much more favorably and led to my improved regard. Be sure to read the Pistol review. The scores...

Rating (10 is best): Sue Sea - 8, Me - 7 (was a 6)

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Last edited by Capn Jimbo on Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 08 Dec 2008
Posts: 113
Location: Erie PA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:08 pm    Post subject: Rum as Cough Syrup Reply with quote

Been fighting a nasty cold this past week, too much snow shoveling I guess. Anyway, with the taste buds on the fritz, it has been a good opportunity to focus on drinking some of the less favorite rums on my shelf.

The first rum I would put in my "rum as cough syrup" category is Pyrat XO. This was one of the first "premium" rums to appear on the shelves of the PA state stores, so it has been my acquaintance for quite a while.

As a sipper for novice rummies, it is sweet, it has some perkiness, and it goes down easy (kind of like that girl Roxy in high school). But revisiting it now that my cold has cleared, I find more to dislike than to like.

For one thing, the orange flavor. Too artificial and strong to be a natural rum flavor, but not full enough to be a true orange liqueur like say, the Clement Creole Shrubb.

For another thing, the flavors hiding under the orange. I detect a metallic bitterness and a smoky tobacco note, neither of which I particularly enjoy.

Now, other than the smokyness, we seem to be disagreeing. I will point out that my bottle, now 2/3 empty, has been open about a year, but the cork is intact and tight and the rum is not at all cloudy. So it is possible that some of the off flavor is due to staleness. But not likely all, and my tasting notes do appear consistent with some that I have seen on other sites.

My rating would be about a 6 (without a cold) or 6.5 (with a cold).

And yes, you can improve your rating of a bad rum by comparing it head-to-head with an even worse one.
Students of the cask, reject naught but water. -Charles Gonoud, Faust Act 2
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Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot

Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3499
Location: Paradise: Fort Lauderdale of course...

PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:09 pm    Post subject: I gotta agree... Reply with quote

I gotta agree...

Keep in mind there's a reason why the Pyrats are in the Twiggie section.

RT, I think you are right on the money. After you've spent some time here, you'll probably begin to notice which of the rums were our more early, tentative reviews. As time has passed, we have moved farther and farther away from the Twiggie Rums, and even considering Sue Sea's desire to be fair to all tastes, this review needs revisiting.

It's our plan to re-review all rums as they are bottomed, partly to decide if they will be replaced (the acid test) and partly to update and improve our reviews. As you no doubt know, the art of tasting - like music - is a never ending journey.

And speaking of such, The other evening Sue Sea and I journied to a nice, fun restaurant that features outdoor seating (a big plus here in Paradise), great food, good prices, fun waiters and a decent bar.

Except for rum.

The only real sipper they had was this one, Pyrat XO, so I ordered a snifter. Got a great pour and it lasted most of the evening. Actually, it could have lasted the next day as well, as I really didn't like it anywhere near as much as our review indicated. Neither did Sue Sea.

Accordingly, watch this space for a re-review. Any time now, lol...

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Pyrate Surgeon
Cabin Boy

Joined: 27 Jul 2008
Posts: 26
Location: Central Coast, CA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:32 pm    Post subject: Pyrate XO Reply with quote

I must admit, I'm a rhum enjoyer who's taken to dabbling in blending. I think one has to keep in mind that not only has Pyrate XO changed it's label, but it's taste since early 2000.

Working with the 'orange-honey' flavor, this rum I use as a base with most of my blends--but only as a base. Adding other selected rums in proper proportions, I've managed to arrive at 2 distinctive blends. Thanks to a challenge place upon me by himself, Bilgemunkey, I have 2 more blends to create. But among my associates, many who admit to being rum and whiskey/whisky snobs, when they hear that I'll be in attendance of a function, they know I will have my blends with me--and I've always returned home with drained-dry bottles.

I would like to pass along a sample to Capt'n for his assessment, but the Postal service might have issues. Something I must look into further...
The Rhum comes After the surgery, mate!
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cannot for the life of me consider Pyrat a rum - it tastes more like a orange liqueur than anything else. Is it good? It tastes pleasant, has a nice spiced flavour and is smooth. I would not personally sip it as such, but serve it with a dessert or in a cocktail.

A rum...? Well, a spiced rum for sure. I would eat some hat of mine if I was proved that this is a "pure rum".

As a product with no clear age statement and a taste that speaks miles of added flavours I think it is overpriced (at least in Europe). A good replacement for Cointreau in any case.
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Cabin Boy

Joined: 05 Dec 2012
Posts: 23
Location: Knoxville Tennessee

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been on a rum buying jag of late and picked up a .750 of Pyrat XO yesterday. It is 24.99 on our shelf.

I dunno, middle of the road stuff. My opinion is tainted though. Patron is big name big time distilling. And I can't stand the stupid orange ribbon tied around the neck much less the clanking little tag of some idol.

It tastes alright, lots of orange. Might be good adding a splash of it to a mimosa. I dunno about drinking it straight. Two good pours on ice last night left me underwhelmed.

It is not offensive but just not remarkable. There are a lot of others way worse.

I gave it three stars.
Pain or damage don't end the world. or despair or fucking beatings. The world ends when you're dead. Until then, you got more punishment in store. Stand it like a man... and give some back. -Al Swearengen (Deadwood)
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Joined: 08 Dec 2017
Posts: 5
Location: Tennessee

PostPosted: Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:59 pm    Post subject: Sickly sweet Reply with quote

Overwhelming orange taste as others have mentioned. Pretty awful attempt at rum. You could use this as the orange flavor in a margarita, but why bother?
Seek not to follow in the steps of the wise man. Seek what he sought.
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