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The Orange in Pyrat Rum

A great rum mystery is finally solved! If you've had Pyrat rum, you've probably noticed its very strong orange taste- so strong that many people have wondered if something was added to the rum. Well, now we know why Pyrat tastes so much like orange. 

I was at the Patron tequila distillery last night meeting with their master distiller Francisco Alcaraz. He also developed the formula for Pyrat rum, which is made in Guyana. 

I asked Alcaraz why Pyrat tastes so strongly of orange. He said that like how Patron's Burdeos tequila spends time in an ex-Bordeaux wine barrel, Pyrat rum spends time in a used cask: one that previously held orange liqueur. 

As I've not seen this information previously, I didn't press the issue too much and don't know how much time in the orange liqueur cask or which orange liqueur it is used. I do not think it is Patron's Citronge orange liqueur though. 

Aging or "finishing" a spirit in a cask that previously held another spirit (that imparts flavor to it) is common among tequila, whisky, and rum. However this might be the first time I've heard of a spirit aged in an ex-orange liqueur barrel. 

Anyway, that finally solves that. 


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which orange liqueur? Citronage (don't think it's aged though), Grand Marnier, Gran Gala, Torres Orange? thank you.

Jared Hirsch

Okay, so it's illegal for a bar to infuse liquor in Calfornia. Is it also illegal for a bar to cask and age a base spirit? Can I take Partida blanco and but it in a barrel, age it myself and resell it?


a short post but a serious connoisseurial achievement in understanding what exactly we drink and spend our money on!

i had long wondered about that stuff. its the southern comfort of rum... and just as gross.

cheers! -bostonapothecary

Camper English

Jared- it's not specifically infusions that are illegal, but adulteration of liquor. It is the same law that says you can't water down vodka or put a bad spirit in an expensive bottle and sell it. So yes technically I believe aging a spirit in a cask (and selling it) would be illegal.

Camper English

I only had tried the XO until last night when I was able to try the more expensive bottling. I liked it much better than the XO.

Jared Hirsch

Drag. This law has got to go.


If Pyrat is made in Guyana, does that mean that it's a Demarara rum?

Camper English

I'm not sure if "demerara" has any kind of official meaning or if it is generic for "rum from guyana" or refers to the style (funky) typical of rums from guyana. So I guess I have no clue on this one.


i d say its grand marniis er because it has this woody caracter of brandy that comes with grand marnier..


It's a generic term for a dark rum from Guyana. Nothing specific about the style save for its color (so I guess ED3 is off the list since it was aged but stripped clear).

Rob Burr

Interesting story, but I think it's unlikely any orange liqueur was stored in barrels, rather orange added to base spirit at the time of bottling. That Pyrat XO base may have been aged, as Grand Marnier and Santa Teresa Orange liqueurs are, but not in the barrel with the orange flavor. Some of our veteran rum friends would tell you that stories like this are questionable if not laughable. "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."


Demerara characterizes the type/style of fermentables.

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