|This is gonna be one Classy DIY Lamp|
Pyrat Rum XO Reserve, $35
By Johnny Lager
I hate rum. It makes my tumbly all unhappy even after just a sip. It's sweet, burny and artless. So I'm always on the lookout for one I can dig. While 'stumbling' around town I came across an intriguing species of blended rum. I hoped that blending would introduce character and nuance that rum typically lacks. Also, Pyrat Rum XO Reserve has suspiciously awesome packaging. I have a love/hate relationship with awesome packaging. It came in an amazing round box, with a Hotei stamp, medallion and plethora of specious stories. I was not surprised to discover that Pyrat Rum is put out by the marketing geniuses who convinced us that Patron is worth $50. Nonetheless; round box emblazoned with Hotei. You know I'm gonna buy it.
|Ahoy Matey! Tis time for some|
The Pyrat Rum people have a very cool web page, supporting the fancy-ass packaging and cock-and-bull "Enlightenment/Pirates" theme, but I'm not 15 years old; I'm familiar with those concepts and their lack of relation, so it'll have no bearing on my palate. Pyrat Rum's mascot, "Hoti" (sic) is described on the bottle and website as a "Zen Patron Saint," whatever that might mean. He is, in fact, a pan-asian god/personification of happiness and contemplation. Close enough I guess, but, I'm still unable to discern the relationship between Asia/Taoism/Shintoism/Buddhism and rum; but, you know I'll be wearing that medallion if it's ever the 70's again. Still, I feel they have gone too far with all of this hullabaloo and jumped the Caribbean shark, if you will.
Another note on packaging: this nifty antique looking bottle is wearing a scarf, medallion and booklet. Damn yo, I didn't realize it was community theatre night at the Lager Haus.
When I listened back to my audio notes, intended only for me, I knew I had to share them. My language is a bit frank. The beeping stops a few seconds in. I have also faithfully transcribed the audio notes for those who wish to deprive themselves of my rich baritone/not get caught d_cking around at work.
"Nose: Light, sweet, a little bit of spice, fruit; maybe blueberry and/or diarrhea. As the bottle stays open it tends more towards blueberry.
First taste: Ugh, it's f_ckin' gross, Oh, my Lord, I don't even know how to describe that. I can't, like, my brain just overloaded. Uh, it's really unpleasant. It definitely has that sort of diarrhea/blueberry aftertaste. Um, It's sorta making my tongue's a little angry; I don't want any more; my lungs are hot; my stomach's pissed off.
Lets try and take another taste so I can get some words out. It really does have some interesting overtones, a little citrusy, maybe a hint of vanilla, there is that blueberry issue there on the second taste, then there is some sort of wood alcohol third flavor, I don't even know what you'd call that.
I'll try it on ice. It's considerably smoother, much less of the woodgrain flavor, The mouth feel is a little richer... The fruity flavor is a bit sweater, but a little less blueberry. It definitely -you just cant escape the diarrhea thing. And there's a bit of an oaky, orangey taste that I would like to love, but I just can't get into this. It is a rich and interesting enough flavor, so that if you like it, I think you'd be loath to mix it, but I think I'll be using my entire stock on Dark and Stormys."
Some things I'd like add to that mayhem: One, I'm not the only one who noted the less than pleasant nose; Two, my tasting panel, who like rum, more or less agreed with me; Three, it has more of a maple syrup flavor than the familiar molasses.
Overview: Not without character and interest, but not for me.
Rating: 1 out of 5 Buddhist Pirates; help yourself, more for you.
This one kinda got away from me, maybe some of the other Gentleman Stumblers can give me some more insight.ReplyDelete
Oh man. "you just cant escape the diarrhea thing" I am laughing out loud by myself at the kitchen table while the rest of the house sleeps. skilled is the palate that can find the gossamer line between berries and shit.ReplyDelete
Did you not consider those rum fans who like shit? you sort of painted diarrhea in a bad light. Just sayin'.
You had me at "I hate rum." Why take the time to analyze something when your first inclination toward the item under review is ALREADY HATE?ReplyDelete
I like to expand my pallet, when I can. I've eventually found a few rum cocktails I enjoy, but I had to expose myself to some unpleasant allong the way. I've still not found a "go-to" rum. Any suggestions for me?Delete
Have a go with Flor de Cana. It's a Nicaraguan rum, considerably smoother.Delete
Have a go with Flor de Cana. It's a Nicaraguan rum, considerably smoother.Delete
*palate not pallet.ReplyDelete
Noted, edited, thanks.Delete
Since it's not really clear what you hate about rum, it's difficult to make recommendations. Rhum Agricole is made from sugar cane juice instead of molasses, so it has a completely different, fresher and lighter taste than "normal" rum, and you can actually taste the sugar cane. It's mainly produced in the french speaking caribbean (Martinique for example produces excellent Rhum Agricole) so you might want to try that. A very good rum distilled from sugar cane juice but not considered agricole is the 15 year old Barbancourt from Haiti, although it's hard to come by (even harder since the eartquake from 2010). As far as classic rum goes, I don't know what you've tried so far, but Zacapa Centenario (23 or XO from Guatemala, excellent but expensive) , Bermudez Aniversario (Dominican Republic) or Ron Diplomatico (Venezuela) would be my recommendations. As a final tip, unless it is highly expensive premium rum (more than 100$), stay away from fancy packaging.Delete
I am so disappointed. I purchased this as a lover of Guyanese rum without reading anything about it prior as 15-year El Do is my go to any day all day and I forsook it in favour of Pyrat. I'm quite sad. Upon uncorking it, my first impression was that they mistakenly filled the bottle with weak Grand Marnier. It didn't really get better when I drank some. Some other reviewers seem to favour it as a mixing rum. That might save it, but ouch, $50 wasted! (I'm in Toronto, our import tariffs on booze are ridiculous).ReplyDelete
Wow, that first run-on is pretty amazing...Delete
All I read was "I'm too much of a pussy to handle a little sip of rum." Stick to Smirnoff Ice.ReplyDelete
Well, if you insist, Anony, I guess I will. If you want to know my favorite way to drink Smirnoff Ice, I usually cut "Blue Razberry" with "Original," served over cracked ice, with an orchid as a garnish.Delete
Ah Jeez. You were just being honest in your statement that you're not a rum guy and were spot on in some of your observations... and I drink a lot of Pyrat. All that guy says to you is "I'm too lazy to pick anything other than Anonymous for my asinine remark". That Said!...Delete
Remember that just about every XO Spiced Rum of various ages around the $25 to $50 mark admits it's blended from various sources. Pyrat boasts that it's sourced from all over the region (that's a good thing?) and then blended in Guyana. If it's blended, fine, but it should come from the same distillery if you stamp XO on it. So lets just start off saying 'Pyrat is a BS rum in that it's over-spiced and has no one distillery it would call its main source'. That out of the way, here are some points in its favor. You get past the slamming to the nose and it is actually quite smooth... or at least I can tell it's not a young, minimally rested rum like all that crap coming out of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico these days. Since it is blended, blending it with a rather subdued XO would not be sacrilege. Introducing Mt Gay Extra Old, about the best XO for the $. As a comparison I can get MGXO at Costco in Washington for $32.74 and Pirate goes for $23.95 in Oregon usually (but $21.95 until 7/31 so... stock-up time). If I could only have one it'd be MGXO. It's a blend, but it's all out of one distillery and... Sheeit, you only need to look at the front face of the bottle to know where exactly it's from. Try and do that with anything coming from USVI.
Your best rums are just about always going to come from nations that do not have close ties to the US. If you see a rum that has a product line as long as your arm, two shelves deep, avoid it. Not doing so and of course you'll have a jilted opinion of rum. Mt Gay Distilleries can only bring in about five different products into the US, sadly. MG Black got nixed for a new product :-(. There's nothing I don't like out of the Mt Gay lineup, they all got a purpose. I'd recommend the XO for you to contrast against that Pyrat if you haven't already. On Ice! And let it stand in the glass for a minute before the first sip. Party on.
Took a long logistical break from this once great rum, originally crafted in Anguilla,. Recently I had had an opportunity to try a current batch post Patron acquisition that is now assembled in Guyana/Africa??? WTF?, I deeply regret not having stocked up on the original! The 30 dollars wasted wasn’t a point but it was insulting to see what has been done to a once great rum recipe and formula. Patron has basically peed on an almost iconic brand and has forever jaded this rum. This current recipe can easily be bested by even the basic Jamaican and even domestic rums made in Louisiana. I now don’t and won’t be looking for anything Patron. This type of subversion in a business created by a long heritage of craftsmanship is unfortunately becoming more and more common. Vigilance today means skipping scrupulous rum business practices like what Pyrat/Patron did and instead, spending my money and my valued time enjoying an honest Scotch. Forever good by Patron!ReplyDelete