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Pyrat XO Reserve

Category: Dark
Country: Anguilla
Aged: 15 years
Alcohol: 40% (80 proof)
Availability: Almost Everywhere
Price: $28-$39 (750 mL)
Rating:
Four and a half Stars

The Review:
It is rare that I like a rum this much, but I am not alone in considering Pyrat XO among the ten or so best rums under $30 in the world.

Pyrat Rum XO Reserve is a complex yet mellow blend of select Caribbean rums, aged up to 15 years in French Limousin and American sweet oak barrels. The initial aromas of bright citrus, spices and honey lead to flavors of oak and molasses, orange and cinnamon. The finish is sweet with orange tones persisting into a medium long warm fade.

This rum's handcrafted decanter is fashioned after relic rum bottles, adorned with a gold ribbon, a unique number and special ingot tied to the bottle. This unique metal mascot bears the image of Hoti (pronounced Ho-Tie), the famous Zen patron saint and protector of little children, fortune tellers and bartenders.

CJ Planter and his wife built the first rum factory on the island on Anguilla. Their rum became highly prized throughout the Caribbean and Europe. Over time their most famous brands became Planters Gold Pyrat XO Reserve and Pyrat Cask 23 premium aged rum.

Today, there are no distilleries on the island. Anguilla Rums negotiates the purchase of various aged rums from some of the Caribbean's finest rum producers. These high quality rums are carefully and uniquely blended and aged in special imported oak barrels, then blended again for uniqueness of flavor, body, aroma and color.

Its warm, alluring aroma has a unique but not overpowering touch of fruity and spicy sweetness. The peppery bite and bit of harshness on the back of the throat was a little unexpected, but it seemed to enhance the overall complex variety of flavors of molasses, citrus (orange), vanilla, and maybe anise. Has an interesting overtone of whiskey. A splash of coke and a twist of lime balance out the slight bite to make an unbelievable, seemingly orange-kissed Cuba Libre (make sure to keep the drink at least half rum).

This is as solid as rums go, and at an average price of $32, it's an incredible value (I actually recently bought two bottles - which I might add are perfectly squat, individually numbered, hand-blown glass with a cork topper, ribbon, medallion, and in an window-front wooden lock box - for an unbelievable $20 each).

Among my personal favorites that I know I'll always have in stock - accounting for taste, price, and availability - is Pyrat XO Reserve.

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