Pyrat Pistol

Pyrat Pistol comes in a tall, thin bottle – a little taller than an average 750ml and a little more than 2 inches in diameter – and holds only 375ml. The bottle’s shape and design “…was inspired by the bottles often carried by old English sailing ships…” OK, sure – I love marketing propaganda. Although it’s rather plain, the bottle is kinda cool really, actually, whether carried by old English sailing ships or not.

I ran across a little story about Pyrat – how an English sailor jumped ship in Anguilla and fell in love with the illegitimate daughter of a local cane grower. He married her, and when the girl’s father died he willed the cane plantation to the young couple. The girl’s mother, who dabbled in witchcraft, convinced them that the island needed a quality rum, which sent the sailor towards creating a very fine rum. The sailor did so, and felt that the rum needed a mascot, so he chose Hoti, the Chinese patron saint of fortune tellers and bartenders.

I mentioned that I love marketing propaganda…

I’ve had this rum once before, and remember it being extremely smooth, and extremely sweet. Neither is a surprise given its big brother, Pyrat XO. It’s from Anguilla and imported by Patrón, the tequila folks and makers of Citrónge. Seems these guys like sweet smooth liquors – not that I mind at all. (Interestingly enough, the Patrón Website doesn’t list the Pistol… I wonder if that’s a sign of anything besides simply forgetting… But they don’t mention the Blanco, either. Weird.

This stuff isn’t exactly cheap around here in Massachusetts – I paid $18. For a 375ml. But I’ve seen and heard that Pyrat XO is a lot cheaper in other parts of the country, so maybe you can find it a bit cheaper than I did. Even at that price I remembered it being good enough to buy again, and I’ve been looking for it for some time. I could hardly pass it by when I saw it.

Initial Tastes
The rum is a gorgeous gold, and smells quite sweet, with a strong aroma of oranges and honey, with hints of vanilla. It’s sweet, though not as sweet as I remembered. And it’s pretty smooth – also not as smooth as I remembered, but this still gets filed under “very smooth.” (Memory is funny isn’t it? Which is why I like tasting notes…) There’s more in there, a bit of caramel perhaps, a little of the barrel coming through. The finish is pretty quick, and overall it’s very good stuff.

Icey Cubes
For some reason, just a mood I guess, I feel like this rum demands an ice cube. Don’t get me wrong – it’s extremely sippable and complex enough to stand neat. But this rum seems suited to ice. Heck, I can’t understand any logic behind this thought, but sometimes it’s good to follow one’s instinct.

And with the ice cube… Well, it’s too much I guess. Actually the ice cube melted a lot and it got too watery. But it certainly got sweeter – my lips are sticky with the sugar – and some more honey tastes come out. And it got a lot smoother. Perhaps my past memories came from having it on ice, which makes sense thinking that I remember this stuff being extremely smooth.

Everything In Moderation
I killed that first watery, cold shot and drizzled a wee bit more Pistol over the cube – well, half a cube now. This is quite a bit better – not nearly as watery, and I didn’t let it sit long enough to get extremely cold. Now I can still taste the complexity, and it still retains a bit of a burn. But the water from the cube does hurt a bit, so I’m beginning to think that this little bottle deserves a spot in the fridge. Cool, not cold, and no water. That sounds perfect.

But I have no patience, so that may have to wait for another night. For now I’m going to enjoy some more Pistol, slightly cooler than room temperature given the remnants of the ice cube that barely remains in the glass.

A Pause…
I’ve been puttering on the Internet for a while, perusing some blogs…

Cocktail Chronicles has a new article reminding everyone about the next Mixology Monday. The theme is “Creme de la Creme” and this reminds my of that bottle of Cruzan Rum Cream that I’ve been saving. I don’t usually like to crack cream liqueurs since I bounce around the bottles too much, and rarely come back to the cream liqueur in time to enjoy it again, so I have touched the Cruzan yet. I want to save that for a night when I’m in the mood to finish it… has an article up about “A summer drink for tough guys and broads” – The Fanciulli, which is a mix of bourbon, vermouth, and Fernet Branca. I guess I’m not a tough guy since that doesn’t even sound appetizing to me. I’ll stick to rum, neat, thank you.

Ed Hamilton updated the airing for “Rum 101 on the Today Show” – now due June 28th. (Don’t hold your breath.)

And then I wasted many minutes clicking on blogs that haven’t been updated in weeks. I hate that. OK, I can’t really hate it, but it’s great when a good blogger posts something interesting so it’s kind of a let-down when the blog is the same as it was last month…

and Another Dram
Since I slowly sipped that Pistol away while reading, I decided that another sip would be a very good thing to do. Yes, this stuff is quite drinkable, in my opinion. It goes down easily and slowly disappears, and it’s only a 375ml. Moderation is called for. After one more…

This one goes neat, no pollution of any kind, and the complexity is back full bore. It’s not overly complex, but it’s got a nice arrangement of tastes centered around sweetness, and I like it.

Sweet, tasty, complex, and very smooth. Pyrat Pistol has all of the things I like in a rum.

But I realize that it’s not for everyone. If you don’t like sweet then stay away. If you don’t like Pyrat XO then stay away. Otherwise this is a very good sipping rum, though perhaps a bit expensive, but certainly nice to savor as the occasional after-dinner treat. Definitely recommended.


4 Responses to “Pyrat Pistol”

  1. Dan J Says:

    Hey Scott,
    I have heard from several sources that Pyrat Pistol is no longer being made, although the BevMo near me (Central CA) just got a bunch of it and is almost giving it away (Buy one, get the next for a nickel!) Have you heard anything to confirm/deny this? This is disappointing to me, as it is my favorite rum to sip & savor. I’d also like to thank you for your blog, as I have found myself several amazing rums, most recently the Zaya Gran Reserva.


  2. Scottes Says:

    I have not heard such a rumor. The Zaya is fantastic, though you might find that one difficult to get for a while because they’re changing distributors. Also, it’s not going to be made in Guatemala any more – they’re changing to a Trinidad blend, which I’ve heard is very very close in taste to the original.

  3. Dan J Says:

    Well, that’s good news.

    The Zaya is wonderful, and it was worth the wait, I only just got it last week, after ordering it in April. Next one I’m looking for is the Ron Zacapa 23.

  4. Hakalugi Says:

    I’m not sure I want to think XO is the big brother of Pyrat Pistol. XO is a bit clunky and obtuse while Pistol is more refined. I’ll take Pistol over XO anyday. I’ve also just decided I’ll take Pistol over Zaya and Ron Zacapa 23 too! … Come to think about… I’m pretty sure that Pyrat Pistol is currently my favorite neat rum.

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