The brand is owned by Patron Spirits and gets its name from the Old English word for 'pirate.' The stout bottle of the XO Reserve is also a tribute to this heritage. The rums are a blend of select pot still rums sourced throughout the Caribbean, many of which are around 15 years old, and some are created in a miraculously long-living wood still that has been running rum for 300 years. Once blended, the rum is matured further in French Limousin and toasted American oak barrels. This seems like an excessive amount of aging given the Caribbean climate which speeds aging, but that is likely the reason behind the extreme taste found in Pyrat.
What you can expect from any of the Pyrat rums is an ultra-smooth taste from beginning to end in Cask 1623 and a very fine mixing rum in XO Reserve. Below are reviews of those two. Pyrat also produces Pyrat Pistol, which is similar to the XO.
On another note, there are reports that the Pyrat recipes changed late in the 2000's and many people who enjoyed it prior to this switch have been disappointed in the new version. I did not have the pleasure of tasting the previous rums, this review is based on the bottlings available in 2012.
Pyrat Rum won Best Rum in the 2013 About.com Readers' Choice Awards.
Pyrat XO Reserve Rum
Pyrat XO Reserve is a nice mixing rum. I have had many people tell me that while they do not prefer it when served neat, as soon as it is mixed into a drink - even if that is a Rum & Coke - it becomes a very enjoyable rum. If you want to check out the 'unique' taste of Pyrat, this is the place to begin because it sells for around $25 for a 750ml bottle. Then, if you enjoy this, the next step is to give the refined Pyrat Cask 1623 a try.
This is a rum that cannot be missed and everyone in the room when you pop the cork will be aware of its impending pour. The permeating aroma is marked with airy citrus, vanilla, and cinnamon and these notes follow through to the finish. On the palate, this rum is captivating and dominating, and the finish has a slightly warm bite with a smooth finish.
Pyrat Cask 1623 Rum
This is an astonishing rum with notes of sweet honey and fruit notes - notably warm, snappy citrus - that flow throughout the drinking experience. From the perfumatory aroma to the velvety smooth finish, it is a lovely, full-flavored rum.
Curious about the date on the label? According to the company, they felt that the year that rum production began in the Caribbean was appropriate for this diversely sourced aged rum.