Review: Pyrat Cask 23

Rating: ★★★★★
Pyrat Cask 23

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from Internet Wines and Spirits

NoteĀ – in the years since writing this review, I’ve received many reports from readers that Pyrat Cask 23’s quality has declined. What small tastes I’ve had of more recent bottles appears to back up this observation, although I’m not yet certain. -Bilge

Presentation isn’t everything, but it’s a lot, and nobody knows this like the makers of Pyrat Cask 23. They start with a hand-blown glass bottle, fill it with their finest mix of select rums, seal it with a cork, and label it with some antique-looking stickers (not brown colored stickers, but stickers that used to be white and new and look like they’ve been aged for decades.) Then they hang yellow ribbons from the bottleneck, along with a medallion of the god of bartenders. And lastly, the whole affair is placed in a gorgeous cedar chest. I tell you, when you first open this bottle of rum you feel like you’ve just raided a spanish galleon (and when you look at the price tag, you might wish you had.)

OK, so aside from the glorious presentation, how’s the rum? It’s in every way as unique as the packaging. Sweeter than most, and by no small means. This is about the only non-flavored rum I’ve ever had (with the exception of Pyrat XO, a more affordable rum by the same folks) where the sweetness actually outperforms the “rumminess,” leaving a product that’s both familiar yet completely new. Sweet, fruity, and musky, this rum is at once bottled decadence and relaxation.

Truly top-shelf rums are often like mid-shelf, only more refined. But Cask 23 is a different beast altogether. It truly chills the spine with each sip, and is a rum worthy of profound respect.

note: This review pertains to the “old” Pyrat Cask 23. Before investing in a bottle, please check out my Pyrat Rum XO Side-by-Side Taste Test.


A reader recently informed me that he had the chance to try Pyrat XO and Pyat Cask 23 side-by-side, and forwarded me his own thoughts. He’s a chef, so pay attention:

On the heels of yet another failed romance (women are the bunk!) I find myself cracking open my coveted cask 23, and comparing it to the standby…XO

The difference is dramatic, and not just by price. The color is light tan v. robust amber for the 23. The nose is most telling…the 23 is very single malt-like, and then sniffing the XO, brings it to Dewars-like proportions. I obviously cannot afford, nor find the resources to keep a full bilge of cask 23 but should a pirate come across such a bounty…pillage dear lad. The 23 is a bounty worth posessing. The XO is still by FAR the best tasting rum I have found for the $$, and recently have found it at the local bottle shop for a mere $18/bottle. I will stock up, as sailing season is fast approaching.

fair winds captain! Arrgh!!

Chef Theo Petron

3 thoughts on “Review: Pyrat Cask 23

  1. I have a bottle of pyrat cask I got dec 2009 and it is amazing. You have nothing to worry about in buying a new bottle at this point. Not sure exactly why there was a decline for a while, but it is definitely back to being the #1 rum in my opinion.

  2. I have crossed swords with the best until ,depleted was my quest , on a barren desert spied i, a young lad with a cask, 23 seasons dry was i , one taste of Pyrat cask 23 an my ………… to be cotinueddd .

  3. Tanx to da reviews, I have just bought my first cask 23 for only $165 in Hilo on da big island of Hawaii. Mahalo

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