Rum is a liquor made from either sugarcane or sugarcane byproducts. As a result, it is no coincidence that it tends to be most associated with the Caribbean as well as Latin America, though it is important to note that it is produced in a wide range of other countries in other regions as well. With that said, there is rum and then there is rum, meaning that some bottles of rum can be much more valuable than others. Here are five of the most expensive bottles of rum to have ever been sold:
Black Tot British Royal Navy Imperial Rum - $3,000
The British Navy has a long association with rum that started up in 1655, which was when Britain secured a domestic supply of rum by capturing the island of Jamaica. Due to this, the daily ration of liquor that the British Navy issued to British sailors was changed from French brandy to Jamaican rum. Initially, the British Navy issued the daily ration of rum either as it was or with some lime juice mixed in because of scurvy prevention, but in time, it started being watered down for the purpose of combating drunkenness, thus resulting in what has become known as grog. Regardless, the Black Tot British Royal Navy Imperial Rum is interesting because it was once made for the British Navy but is now available to other interested individuals provided that they are willing to pay $3,000 a bottle for it.
Appleton Estate 50-year-old Jamaican Rum - $5,999.99
Appleton Estate's 50-year-old Jamaican rum is exactly what it sounds like, which is to say, it is rum that has been aged in oak barrels for five decades. For context, this means that the people behind this rum started making it when Jamaica was still a colony of the United Kingdom. Regardless, what is remarkable about this rum is not just its age but also the fact that no more than 800 bottles were ever produced. As a result, while it is relatively widely available for sale, it can claim the distinction of being the most expensive example of such rums at $5,999.99 per bottle.
Legacy by Angostura - $25,000
Some bottles of rum are expensive because of their age. Legacy by Angostura is not one of those bottles. Instead, it can claim $25,000 based on its rarity as well as a number of other factors. For starters, Legacy is made by hand from start to finish in Trinidad. On top of this, no more than a very small number of bottles are produced on an annual basis, with an excellent example being how 2013's production run resulted in no more than 20 bottles. Combined with the fact that its packaging consists of an Asprey-designed bottle incorporating sterling silver stored in a wooden box that has been lined with silk as well as velvet, it is no wonder that it is so expensive.
1949 J. Wray and Nephew Rum - $54,000
In 1825, a man named John Wray started up a tavern in what would become the Jamaican capital of Kingston. Later, he brought on his nephew Charles James Ward to run the business with him, thus resulting in J. Wray and Nephew. Since that time, the rum maker has turned into one of the most successful businesses of its kind that can be found on the island nation. This bottle of rum from 1949 is the most expensive bottle of rum to come from said rum maker, having made $54,000 based on a combination of its age as well as its rather exclusive nature.
1780 Harewood Rum - $100,000+
In 2011, two men were looking through the cellars of Harewood House in Leeds to see what wines and other beverages were contained therein. Towards the back, the two found some bottles sitting on un-dusted shelves, which were so foul-looking because of mold as well as cobwebs that they had to get gloves to protect their hands. As it turned out, the bottles contained Harewood Rum from 1780, meaning that the batch had a strong claim to being the single oldest batch of rum that is still in existence. Due to this, when the Harewood Rum was put up for auction, each of the bottles managed to fetch remarkable sums. In particular, it should be mentioned that the last 16 bottles of Harewood Rum went for more than £100,000, thus making their value clear in a most unmistakable manner.
Written by Garrett Parker
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