Pyrat Rum XO Reserve Review

Pyrat Rum

Had wine not been the drink of choice 2,000 or so years ago, Jesus would have probably turned every drop of water on earth into Pyrat Rum XO Reserve. Each bottle of this aromatic and easy drinking rum is hand filled and labeled with a hand written serial number at the factory on the island of Anguilla. Pyrat Rum XO is actually a blend of 9 different rums that are then aged to marry the flavors. The squat, corked bottle is reminiscent of the type of bottle used by the rum runners and pirates who roamed the Caribbean in the 1800’s.

I used to drink this stuff by the gallon during my year-long walkabout in the Caribbean. You could get it anywhere, and like most rum in the Caribbean, it was cheap. This was not the case when I returned home to sunny Florida some 8 years ago. No one had even heard of my beloved Pyrat Rum. Finally, about a year or so ago, the Patron company decided I had been punished enough and began stocking the shelves of my local ABC Liquor store with Pyrat Rum.

Pyrat Rum Taste Test

To see if this rum was all that I remember, I bought a bottle and called Nathan and his girlfriend Rachel to come help Laura and I kill the bottle. I thought the taste was perfection. This is one of the few rums I could drink on the rocks. Nathan was of the same opinion and said it was surprisingly, “not bad.” However, our women gave the chilled shots a less than spectacular review. Laura claimed straight Pyrat was only good for clearing her sinuses while Rachel said it had the aftertaste of a pine tree.

Now that I think about it….how does Rachel know what a pine tree tastes like?

Although we had our differences when it came to straight up Pyrat, we all agreed that it definitely had mixing potential. We decided to go with one of the most popular drinks in any Florida night club or bar, the Cuba Libre (a.k.a. rum and Coke). Mixed with Coke this rum has a clean and almost vanilla flavor and everyone agreed that it didn’t have the usual aftertaste you get with normal rum.

The final test for this rum would come the next morning. Just how bad would the hangover be? After drinking the entire bottle in one night Nathan and I reported the same results. No headache. No sick stomach. No hangover. Perfection.

A 750ml bottle of this stuff will set you back about $35 at any store, but I’ve found it a few places online for about $26. Whether you pay $26 or $35, trust me when I tell you this rum is worth every penny.The Patron company has a whole list of drink recipes for Pyrat Rum on their website that I’m sure will keep you busy for a night or two.

Here’s one of my favorites:

Pyrat Punch


    2 oz Pyrat XO Reserve
    2 oz Soda water
    Juice of 1/2 Lime
    Dash bitters
    Splash of Pineapple Juice (optional)
    Splash of Grapefruit Juice (optional)
    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    Fresh Cherries


Combine rum, limejuice, and bitters in a shaker of ice. Shake gently.
Pour into margarita glass. Garnish with nutmeg and fresh cherries.
Optional juices are pineapple and grapefruit.


  1. Luis says


    You are dead on! This is the most enjoyable rum I have ever tasted. Smooth, full flavored and the hint of vanilla aftertaste is just heavenly!

  2. Stanley says

    I recently tried this for the first time. The bottle I purchased had a blue-cheese aroma and flavor. I returned the bottle suspecting it was simply a bad cork however the second bottle had the same problem. Since I’ve never tried this before I don’t know whether it’s me or the intended flavor.

  3. JacquesBlackShellac says

    Been drinking Pyrat for years – LOVE it! I think it has lost a little bit of flavor since Paul Mitchell added it to his Patron portfolio, but all in all, the greater availability outweighs the former cache of finding some. Try a couple ounces of it on ice with a 1/2 tsp of brown sugar and a squeeze of lime – perfect way to enjoy it. This rum and Herradura Reposado tequila (Anejo when I’m feeling wealthy) are two of the finest spirits known to man. Love the website – keep up the great work!

  4. M.J. says

    This “rum” is really not my cup of tea, it tasted more like a mixture of rum and orange liqueur…good with ice cream, but way too sweet for sipping and enjoying. God only knows what goes in it and how much sugar is added..

  5. Rob says

    Really did not like this rum; I agree with Stanley on the rotten cork smell.
    I wanted to like it, but something is really wrong with it for my taste buds.
    They sell a lot of it though, so I guess best thing to do is try it for yourself.
    Perhaps order a shot from the bar first though, getting through a whole bottle if its not your taste is a bit rough.

  6. Chris says

    PYRAT is nasty tasting when compared to the old original Planters Gold XO Reserve. I agree that since Patron Spirits took it over it tastes like a mixture of rum and orange liqueur. Come to think of it I think Patron makes some kind of orange liquer Patron Citronge’. I wouldn’t drink this garbage at all. Any real rum drinker wouldn’t touch this stuff.

  7. jim duddleston says

    i bought a bottle of pyrat xo reserve at an upscale liquor store….$29.00.

    when i opened the bottle, i expected “Great”..

    what i got was something that tasted like a cheap Bourbon.
    no orange aroma, no rum taste..just like a cheap bourbon.
    i had some friends taste it..and got the same reaction from them.
    granted, im no expert..but i like rum.
    i will not finish the bottle.i tried it with “pepsi” and it was even worse.
    did i get a bad bottle???

  8. says


    I’ve had a couple people tell me they’ve had some bad Pyrat. I’m going to buy some this weekend to test it out again for myself. It wouldn’t surprise me though if to save money the Patron company dicked around with the recipe. Buying it for $29 also tells me they may be using cheaper ingredients to expand their market share via price cutting. I’ll do some digging and do a post on it.

  9. says

    As bad as it gets. I understand the packaging but if buy it keep the bottle and refill it. Try some of the true standards first like 15yr or 25yr Barbancourt or Ron Pampero as reference points. The reaction of the two women in the story were right on. This is the Swisher Sweet of rums. There is SOMETHING artificial in this rum that just isn’t right. I wish I knew so I could stay away from it in other drinks. Like the day I realized why both sake and Budweiser give me a headache. Apparently there is something about fermented rice. It’s the main ingredient in both(according to their labels). What’s in Pyrat though? Pine?

  10. Super90 says

    Agreed. I had this stuff for the 1st time this 4th of July and and am now trolling the blogs explaining how freakin’ good it is.

  11. Ken K says

    Well, I’m glad to read others had a similar response… My Sweetie gave me a bottle of Pyrat XO Reserve for my birthday (I usually drink Matusalem Gran Reserva or Clement Rhum Agricole Vieux VSOP), but had been eyeing the Pyrat in the PA State Store (have to visit Jersey for the others)…

    I had the same reaction about the cork (smelled funky), the sugary orange-added taste, and the absence of what I consider to be a classic rum flavor (I thought it tasted like a cordial/liquer of some kind). Since I didn’t care for it straight I tried mixing in some Coke, but it just made the Coke very sweet and, again, didn’t add that flavor I associate with Rum so I didn’t think it tasted right. Sweetie agreed. I had the same thought: “Did I get a bad bottle?”

    That being said, to each their own… Maybe if I get through the bottle it could grow on me as something completely of its own accord, but that will be a slow journey. (Flip side is, I can casually go through a bottle of Matusalem in 2 days if I’m not careful).

  12. david says

    whats wrong with everybody? I am a rum drinkin son of a bitch and Pyrat is awesome end of story. Mixed with coke is spectacular or on the rocks its great. Beats the shit out of Captain Morgan or Bacardi.

  13. sues says

    Anyone have a receipe for a drink like Ruby tuesday’s Pyrat Hurricane? It has pyrat rum xo reserve and citron. Had it fo first time the other day was very good

  14. Marshall says

    Just purchased a bottle of XO Reserve for $39.77 in Key Largo, I poured a shot over ice and topped with ginger ale, My first thought was it remended me of the taste of a good Kentucky Bourbon with ginger ale–The XO is very acceptable to me

  15. Tinman says

    Really odd to read so many bad reviews. I got this as a thank you gift from a colleague, and though I don’t really drink rum, I enjoyed every drop of this one. My dad, an avid scotch fan, loved it. My mom, a red wine drinker, loved it. My gf, who doesn’t drink, liked it but it naturally was too strong for her. Its really bizarre to read stuff about blue cheese flavor… Best I can describe is that its creamy-thick, a bit on the sweet side, with some orange peel on the nose and a lingering spiced vanilla/orangey aftertaste. Its definately not sweet enough to be a liqouer, but at the same time a bit sweeter than standard run of the mill rums. In any case, I loved it, too bad they don’t sell it here. :(

  16. SmokeyMo's Rum Bar says

    It is also interesting to me that there are bad reviews, however, the people who made those comments likely love rums that I think taste bad…and that’s the beauty of the rum gods. You have to understand that each Caribbean island makes very different rums, and then there are many places that make fine rums outside of the Caribbean. The only commonality is the word “Rum” or “Rhum” and the origins of sugar cane some hundred years back. From there, each rum is and should be unique!

    One additional note…the original recipe that makes Pyrat IS NOT Patron. Patron owns the rights, distribution, etc. but the rum is made on the Island of Anguilla and is bottled by the Anguilla Rum Company. Patron just simply made a business move and acquired it. Whether they screwed with the recipe is unknown.

  17. HubertDrWho says

    Pyrat Rum, camping, 2 750Ml bottles w/ pomegranate juice. Quick Run up the flagpole! Very Nice taste, NO HANGOVER

  18. Steve says

    I purchased a bottle to give to my dad on a disney cruise. I had read a review somewhere on the net praising it. After getting back to my state room, I decided to go back and get an additional bottle myself. I am glad I did, I just wish I could stop drinking it. I have thoroughly enjoyed this spirit and will probably, no, definitely keep a bottle at home at all times. Like anything in life, some will like it, some will not. What is important is that you like it for yourself. I love this stuff!

  19. Angelina says

    I love a good rum, and have tried too many to count. I have had every type of Pyrat available and have yet to find one that I do not enjoy. The XO is my favorite as it is a bit smoother. A tall glass, a few ice cubes, Pyrat XO and a splash of coke= a wonderful evening to me!
    I truly do enjoy this rum, and keep a bottle on the counter for any day I am in need of a “wind down” period. For those of you who have not tried it, do order some on the rocks or a drink made with it before you form an opinion. To each their own, but I would hate for you to miss out!

  20. Joshua says

    Hi my 2 cents. I wish I had read more before buying. I like fine brandies and cognac but not a big fan of whiskey. So I thought the sweeter beginnings of rum might suite me. I wanted a “pure” aged (as in VSOP cognac) rum. I read a few reviews and decided on Pyrat XO. I was shocked at how sweet it was and the heavy orange flavor that I simply couldn’t believe was from distilling and oak aging alone but I had no previous experience with rum. I did some further research and have found as many opinions here have noted that they must be adding flavor. It doesn’t have to my taste much of the oak woody taste that my brandies have. I also noticed the rotten cork effect and my cork was discolored in a way I have never noticed with my brandies. It has a finish that is strange for me. Having said all that it isn’t bad as a desert type liqueur and I’ll finish the bottle in lue of brandy. I wouldn’t add coke as it would most likely be too sweet then (it is now actually). All in all not recommended.

  21. says

    If you don’t like sweet, you won’t dig this. I like brandies, cognac, some bourban, manhattens, vodka and gin martinis… and I LOVE this stuff. I have a friend who loves red wine and he went nuts for this stuff. Yeah, the orange and vanilla come in strong, but it is a hard one for me to stop pouring. I’ve had some others, including Meyer’s, but they didn’t do too much for me… If digging this stuff makes me an amature, well tag me amature in caps! ;)

  22. says

    Having enjoyed many fine Rums over the years, I put Pyrat up there with some of the best. I always keep a bottle around. For me it depends on the mood and what cigar I have chosen to accompany my Rum. The finest Rums out there always are debated upon but as far as smoothness, character and overall enjoyment I put a good glass of Pyrat up there in the league of Ron Zacapa Centanario, Eldorado 15, Zaya, Barbencourt and a few others. I enjoy Pyrat neat at times and if you do not like the orange and sweetness, let it “breathe” in your glass for about 10 minutes, then add some ice until it hits the right flavor. Rums will mellow a little if you do not drink immediately upon pouring.
    Overall 7 /10

  23. Paul says

    You’d have to be a real dickhead to say this rum sucks! This rum is awesome, if you’re some Matusalem drinker or think that you should be comparing this to a 15 or 25 year old rum, then you really missed the point. This stuff is in it’s own league. Don’t go into this thinking it’s going to be compared to higher priced rum, it is decidedly made with a different flavor.

  24. elaine says

    One of the ingredients is wine from Australia. Don’t know if that is normal for rum, but I know for a fact it is in the mixture.

  25. Eric says

    Excellent rum, especially for the price. I was recommended Pyrat XO (partially due to a sale — 2 375ml bottles for $21.99) and decided to spend the extra couple of bucks over my usual; Appleton Estate VX. I’m very glad that I did. It’s a much more enjoyable experience on the rocks, and when mixed into Coke, makes you think that all these years, ordinary Coke has been missing out. Definitely a league ahead of Appleton Estate VX, but I’d need more experience with it to say if it can stand up to other critically acclaimed aged rums.

  26. says

    Where I’m from, the mothers will rub a baby’s teething gums with rum that it may num the pain. So we get accustom to the taste of rum at a very early age, you see. Because of this, many Puerto Ricans naturally compare any spirits with the rum. I think, though that Ron Barilito 3 stars is a very good rum, but Ron Zacapa centenario is really my favorite, as is Ron Zaya. My wife is a Trini and she swears that 1919 and 1824 are the best! But, when I first opened a bottle of Pyrat XO reserve I noticed the aroma and it stunk, to me, like baby doo doo; My wife smelled it in the next room and she claims that it’s the smell of molasses. I even became wary of of the impending taste. And it was indeed unique! There are many great rums around and I, of course, have my favorites above but I’ll always have a bottle of Pyrat xo reserve at hand. I treat it like an after dinner liquor, sometimes, but I’ll also have it straight or with ice while I study or listen to music. I wish I had some now. See ya!

  27. scot says

    this rom is absolutely disgusting it’s not the truth certified rum it’s okay we made it altered kidney stone cold of the shelf redefine italian the worst around taste like ass

  28. Asdisciple says

    I settled for this when I could not find a bottle of El Dorado rum. I purchased a bottle of 15 yr El Dorado for my dad a year ago and immediately went back to get my own when I tasted it. Unfortunately it’s even more rare than this stuff. So since they gentleman at the liquor store said this was only $19.99 for 750ml I decided to try it out. I was pleasantly surprised. It’s much sweeter and smoother than I expected and has a far superior taste than any of the typical captain morgan’s or bacardi’s. I do highly recommend that you keep your eye out for that El Dorado though. It’s still the best rum I’ve ever had and at $35 or so for a fifth, you can’t beat it!

  29. Ray says

    I don’t even like rum.
    I love a bit of Pyrat on ice, though. A nice glass on a nice boat is peace on earth.

  30. Thomas Wentzel says

    I love Ron Matusalem, I love Atlantico, I love Gosling’s and I love Pyrat.
    Not a hangover in the bunch.
    I’ve tried all the bottlings of El Dorado however, and get a rageing headache everytime.

  31. Enjoyin the flavors you didn't notice... says

    Honestly, my husband an I took this rum in as a breath of fresh air. We enjoy rum but tend to also entertain hearburn, which this does not create. Despit everyone else’s suposed pine tree finish, we discovered mango. It’s a delightfull breath of fresh rum and plan to continue enjoying. Displace everything you know about what this should taste like and embrace what it gives you instead. It’s smooth, drinkable, enjoyable, and won’t be a bear in the morning. Finally, this is not for snobs. You don’t like that do you? Get off you high horse and sip as an independant. Forget what you know about everything expensive.

    We live in Georgia and pay $15 a bottle. Take it in for what it is…a tongue and a taste. It is a bit sweet, sensitive to the fruit, and could definitly be considered the wine of rum. Taste the fun from the bottle and decide for youself. Everyones taste pallet is different and on a varied level of aqcceptance. You are the leader of your own future. Take charge!

  32. Glenn says

    A dog would have to lick its own ass to get the taste out of its mouth. I’ll never get it again, and I won’t recommend it, unless I don’t like you.

  33. baleygr says

    can anyone verify the thing about australian wine in this? i can’t have tyramine but i want to drink this bottle

  34. Ed Helium says

    As a Puerto Rican, I can tell you there are many fine rums to be compared, but the Pyrat Xo straight no rocks is heaven on any Island.

  35. Ron says

    this is something for people who dont drink much and havent got any experience…this isnt what you go for when zou drink rum. the scent reminds me of an aromatic candle, yes, its not natural kind of a mixture of orange liqueur and rum.

    its cheap

  36. Dave says

    I’ve just started my rum experience
    I first had Ron Zappa 23 year rum( really a mix of 23/15/8 year old rum in sherry casks
    Just heavinly very carmely less sweet then pyrat rum
    But worth your effort to try
    I loved this rum orange and vanilla I don’t mind sweet and I’d never mix it I prefer it room temp
    It’s not expensive, guess its good we don’t all like the same things

  37. Dave says

    I’ve just started my rum experience
    I first had Ron Zacappa 23 year rum( really a mix of 23/15/8 year old rum in sherry casks
    Just heavinly very carmely less sweet then pyrat rum
    But worth your effort to try
    I loved this rum orange and vanilla I don’t mind sweet and I’d never mix it I prefer it room temp
    It’s not expensive, guess its good we don’t all like the same things

  38. says

    This used to be a phenomenal rum when it was produced and bottled by Anguilla Rums. It was called Planters Gold Pyrat XO Reserve. Unfortunately, Patron Spirits bought it and ruined a perfectly unique rum. They changed the name to Pyrat Rum XO Reserve, altered the formula, added cloying orange additives and a boat load of sugar, and moved production over to Guyana. It is presently a mere shadow of its former glory. Maybe Patron Spirits will wake up and go back to the original formula and restore it to its former glory. And make the citizens of Anguilla proud once again. Shame on you Patron… Shame on you!

  39. says

    This used to be a phenomenal rum when it was produced and bottled by Anguilla Rums. It was called Planters Gold Pyrat XO Reserve. Unfortunately, Patron Spirits bought it and ruined a perfectly unique rum. They changed the name to Pyrat Rum XO Reserve, altered the formula, added cloying orange additives and a boat load of sugar, and moved production over to Guyana. It is presently a mere shadow of its former self. Maybe Patron Spirits will wake up and go back to the original formula and restore it to its former glory. And make the citizens of Anguilla proud once again! Shame on you Patron… Shame on you!

  40. karl says

    I will finish this bottle because it’s against guy code to waste beer but this stuff is bad tasting s***

  41. Jimbo says

    An excellent rum but the first time I tasted some, it was clear that they had targetted Pusser’s Rum blend. I agree with some of the pallets above- definitely an after taste of citrus. The bottle and the tallisman is a bit hokey for me….. I think I will stick with the less expensive 300 year old formula of Pusser’s British Navy Rum. Still the best in the islands.

  42. Michael says

    Best need to get fancy with the mixing beyond the Pyrat rum and diet coke, etc.

  43. says

    Pyrat Rum is the best Rum I have ever tasted. I am floored by this Rum. I can’t stop drinking it. Also the taste is not the only thing that’s good. The feeling is far more amazing. Pyrat Rum is the shit. HANDS DOWN!!!!!!!


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