Everyone here likes to drink rum and feel the urge to taste and evaluate rum, maybe out of curiosity,
for fun or because of passion for rum. Each of you have probably already bought a few bottles of rum for a later date. Either because it tastes good or because you fear not being able to buy it later or because you like the look of the bottle.
It was the same for me, now I already have some more bottles and wonder what a good collection could look like. I've done some research and haven't found any useful instructions on how to build a collection.
This thread is about how a collection can be structured and built.
Some might argue: rum is there to be enjoyed and not to be collected.
Yes, and who wouldn't want to enjoy a Zacapa 30, Velier Caroni 1985 or Albion 1994 today?
If you don't collect some rums that are available today, you won't be able to enjoy them some years later.
That's why everyone is welcome to share which rums they are collect and how to proceed with the selection. My goal is to select the best quality rums and a wide variety of flavors in the collection.
Different approaches and the evolution of my collection:
1. The first accumulation contained rums that I liked. Most of the time you start with Spanish rums.
Specifically, there were some Zacapas, Mount Gay Rums and Centenarios that I bought.
- Now my taste have changed over time, I can enjoy rums that I couldn't enjoy before. I collected a few rums that were not entirely complex and no longer interesting for me.
- The value of the collection is therefore not particularly high, since there is also no clear structure.
2. Old rums, from different decades.
Specifically, I bought some Pampero bottles from the 90s, aged Bacardi from 2010 and 2014, Zacapa rums from 2006. I still have some bottles left and I'm happy about them.
Most of them are not in great demand (except Zacapa) and will probably never be interesting for rum connoisseurs.
I've tasted them, noticed some differences and gained some experience.
I never tasted very old rums from the 30s, 50s and 70s.
- The quality of the rum played a subordinate role for me, as the possibility of buying the rarity had priority.
+ From the point of view of owning some rarities that look great on the shelf, this collection could be very beautiful.
- But you also want to enjoy the taste of the collection, which is neglected here.
3. Bottle series from manufacturers. Mainly Zacapa in my case.
I bought special editions from Zacapa in particular and many older bottles that are no longer available.
- The differences in taste were limited to rum within the manufacturer.
+ The structure is simple and clear, the collection is nice to look at.
4. Countries and rum styles. Spanish, English and French - Jamaica, Martinique, Guyana, Fiji, Barbados, Trinidad...
I tried different styles of rum, from different countries and got to know some strange rums.
Everything I bought was still mixed up, the quality was different and there was no particular structure.
A structure could at most result from countries.
+ It's very wide, but still interesting in terms of taste.
+ You can use a small budget and the availability of rums is very good.
- The problem here is the fluctuation in the quality of the rums.
5. Distilleries / Closed Distilleries, Angostura, Hampden, Savanna, New Yearmouth, Caroni, Enmore.
There were many interesting and very good rums, mostly from independent bottlers.
In terms of taste, I was able to see many differences and qualitative fluctuations between independent bottlers and rums within a distillery.
+ The purchases for the collection related to some interesting distilleries and the best bottlings (mostly from independent bottlers)
+ The structure is clear and ensures a variety of flavors.
- Unfortunately, this type of collection is not particularly cheap and the very good bottlings are not easy to recognize.
This is my favourite collection type so far.
6. Independent Bottlers - Bristol Classic, Velier, Samaroli, Kill Devil, SBS, Rum Nation, Plantation, Silver Seal
I have heard of collectors who e.g. collect all Bristol Classic bottlings.
+ It is certainly interesting in terms of taste and appearance to have many Samaroli or Velier bottlings.
+ You can also restrict this to certain distilleries within the bottler.
- There is only the disadvantage that the quality is different between bottlers and that this type of collection would be quite expensive depending on the bottler.
- Many special editions are also hard to get, which is why drinking and collecting is often difficult.
7. Trends and exotis - Japanese, German rum, strange rum
Those who already know everything can also collect new or exotic rums.
Japanese rum like RYOMA, TEEDA, Kiyomi or German rum (Revolte, Wagemut) have been available for several years.
It can be attractive to save such bottlings. After a few years, such bottlings could become unaffordable e.g. see Japanese whiskey.
+ Those who already know everything want variety and this is what these rums can offer.
- There is often not enough information about exotics and the expertise of the collector must be very great.
8. Special editions - limited editions, anniversary editions
Such editions are also suitable for a collection, as they can often no longer be obtained after several years.
This requires a lot of foresight and knowledge in order to get such bottlings.
The third edition of Velier Caroni Employees was immediately sold out and was only available on the second market. Unfortunately it is way too expensive to be drunk at all.
- The enjoyment of such bottlings is secondary, it is only about the investment or upgrading of the collection.
As you can see, I collect rums according to distilleries.
So far I have limited myself to a few distilleries. When I think I own a large part of the interesting bottlings I move to the next distillery. In terms of price, it is not cheap but also not the most expensive way.
What do you think, is there a better way to collect rum, or is there something I can't see?
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St. Lucia is a great distillery, if not one of the top 5 then definitely one of the top 10.
Thanks for the advice, I'll try to get some (I found already the second edition btw.)
There aren't many bottlings from this distillery, it could be interesting to collect all editions of the 1931series.
This are my top 10 distilleries. How you sort it is up to your own taste :)
Caroni (Trinidad, closed)
Enmore (Guyana, closed)
Savanna (La Réunion)
St. Lucia Distillers (St. Lucia)
New Yarmouth (Jamaica)
Diamond Distillery (Guyana)
Long Pond (Jamaica)
Can you order rums online? The best releases are very limited, sometimes there are just 200 bottles, that's why retailers never see them.
If you wanna start with Hampden, there is one DOK Hampden on the market, the only one that I know under 100€ (and it's still available, because there is no DOK Mark on the bottle :)
Savanna has released new products. I already ordered some, this one could be very interesting:
They have only two HERR (high ester) releases this year and they are both unaged :/ But it's better than nothing.
There are also some new Plantation Rums, Jamaica 2003 (Clarendon/Monymusk distillery), 17y old
and one release from Fiji 15y. They are not in my top 10, but these distilleries are not far away.
The bottles are beautiful btw.
If you wanna start with Caroni do it now. I think in three years all prices will double (that was the case in the last three years). This year there were no releases under 200€ and there were only a few. They are also a little bit too old IMHO, but some people like that.
I have already a good stock of caronis.
There are still some Caronis on the Market for 150€. Sometimes I see some for 100€, but they are not the best one. But it's still a caroni and it's around 17y old.
There is almost nothing from St. Lucia in cask strength, I'm still searching for some Plantation releases. They're just as hard to find as Caroni or maybe harder.
New Yarmouth is also very hard to find, this year there is a great release from Artesanal and it's almost sold out.
That's why it's not that easy to build a good collection. Just start somewhere, you can't do wrong if you buy the best releases.
Maybe you can use a service like this one
Yes, you can buy something and you have to use the adress you received.
"If you are going to order goods from Germany, fill in the address of your mailbox. Once the delivery arrives, we will send you an e-mail on the same day."
Btw. this is a good rum, I think it's a good start for a collection
Lost soul, where are you located? I’ve been able to get nearly everything I want provided I’m willing to pay for it.
I’m in Rodos, and we have a pretty good selection here for the usual stuff, but I’ve had to search the rest of Europe to get some of the specialty rums like Foursquare products.
If I was looking for a new career, I’d probably go to bar school as well. So many cool things to learn!
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