column still & pot still
2-16 years in American oak and French Limousin casks
Alcohol by volume:
Pyrat XO Reserve ranks sixth in the sum of votes on RumRatings. The popularity can be attributed to the distribution channels (Bacardi) and, therefore, its wide availability. Reviewers are polarized in their opinions: some love, other hate. Irrespective of their perspectives, forum users unanimously concur on the product's appealing presentation.
The aesthetic is as follows: a compact bottle made of thick glass adorned with tiny air bubbles, topped with a cork wrapped in an orange ribbon, an informational tag, and a metal emblem. The tag itself embodies the essence of instant culture, offering pronunciation guidance for the brand name, calling the 'Laughing Buddha' aka 'Hoti' as the patron of bartenders, and suggesting insights into the aroma and flavor. The previous label version directly stated 'rum' beneath the logo, but the bottle before me appears to have undergone a rebranding, now denoting 'premium Caribbean spirit.' Below this, there is further clarification (presumably) stating 'an artisanal blend of rum and natural flavors.
The varying perceptions of Pyrat XO can be attributed to two main factors. Firstly, the changes in ownership. In the mid-1990s, Anguilla Rums Company created Planters Gold Pyrat XO, a blend of Caribbean rums that gained a cult status. Shortly after, the company entered into a joint venture with the American company The Patrón Spirits Company, and the brand was renamed Pyrat XO Reserve. In 2008, Bacardi acquired Patrón,and by 2010, production was shifted to Guyana. A recurring topic on forums revolves around the comparison of product quality over the years. More precisely, some consumers assert that the product's quality has diminished over time.
Secondly, the fundamental issue with rum as a category regarding inclusion and exclusion, demand and supply. Pyrat XO enthusiasts seem not to understand why their opponents raise objections - after all, there's no accounting for tastes. Furthermore, the numbers speak for themselves. Which actually serves as an argument for both sides.
Each bottle is labeled with a handwritten serial number. As I hold a bottle with a relatively high number, I find myself worrying about the signer's fatigued hand. Overload results often in errors. If they occur, there are duplicates. Then, I see it as though in a vision, a supervisor comes, lift the suspicious bottle, turn it over in a hand, examines carefully number digit by digit, furrows the brows and confirms that trust is good, but control is even better.
Yet, as consumers, it's challenging for us to exercise any control. Perhaps except the sugar content, here 24 grams per liter. The parent company of Pyrat is Bacardi nowadays. The rum is produced at Guianese contract-based Demerara Distillers Limited. The website reveals that Pyrat is a blend of Caribbean rums aged for up to 16 years in oak barrels. In any case, the label omits the word 'rum' and refers the liquid as a 'Caribbean spirit drink'.
Pyrat XO is a blend dominated by a two-year-old Demerara blend. The other components originate from various Caribbean distilleries and may have aged for up to sixteen years. However, it would be wiser to anchor towards the lower age limit. Column still and pot still distillation. American oak ex-bourbon, and apparently also French oak casks. Curiously, the label lacks the designation 'flavored'."