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Crazy rum or why the rum market goes nuts


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vomi1011

Posted 17 Nov '21 from Germany with 395 ratings

The more the rum market develops, the more absurd it becomes. I see more and more overaged, young or unaged rums on the market at crazy prices. The development tends towards whiskey, maybe because the whiskey drinkers are buying more and more rum.My top crazy rum was at the last auction. It's so crazy because absolutely everything about it is absurd.

  https://rumauctioneer.com/lot/5040905/dark-matter-inaugural-release-physicist-series-einstein-bottle-001

It's a rum from Scotland, since when has sugar cane been growing in Scotland and why does a whiskey manufacturer have to produce rum?

Six years aging in virgin oak in a very small cask. In my opinion there are no more rum aromas, it is more of a bourbon than a rum.

1 of 9 bottles. So, they distilled a 6L casks to test the production and is this first run worth bottling?What they have is a 1,000 litre hybrid pot, retort and column still. Why there are only 9 bottles?

And then the price, a dumb whiskey collector paid £ 13,000 for this nonsense. There are also 8 other bottles, maybe this dumb whisky collector bought them all. 😂

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Mr. Rumantic

From Germany with 151 ratings Replied 17 Nov '21

I also find the development very sad and think soon you will not get a well-stored rum in cask strength for example from Jamaica or Guyana under 100 €. Above all, almost all bottlings are now affected. And everyone is participating. The online shops unfortunately too. There I find a RA Fiji for 300€ or a Velier Hampden 2016 for 199€. Prices are going up completely crazy. And also very fast. The only bright spot is the possibility to buy samples and share bottles.

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kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 37 ratings Replied 17 Nov '21

I'm also stunned by the dark matter distillery bottle price. for this price I'd buy many other good rums. And since it was an auction, at least one preson had to be bidding high as well. Ridiculous.

For me it looks like an investment done by somebody without knowledge about rums. Surely, if rums of Scottland become new hype, like Japaneese whisky, this would become extremely expensive in the future. On the other hand, it takes almost 100 years for the first J.Bally bottling of Agricole (I believe some are still in existence) to reach similar price. Rarely do I agree with Paul on the matter of rum pricings but this is just ridiculous and a pure price speculation, which spoils the rum market.

This sucks when the fancy botle or a cool story shapes the price more trhan the quality of the product.

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kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 37 ratings Replied 17 Nov '21

By the way, it is also stunning how Brexit influenced the prices. For instance, the Criterion was sold for 975 GBP in the EU, and for less than 700 GBP in the UK.

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vomi1011

From Germany with 395 ratings Replied 17 Nov '21

There were 1200 bottles of Criterion in the UK and 800 in Europe. I think it's more common there. Still, those 700 pounds are insane.Yes, there is a rise in prices but there are still good bottlings. What I see are more and more bottlings that don't make sense to me.

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Paul B

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 17 Nov '21

Lucky me lives near a major USA port city and we have yet to see these crazy price hikes on rum. However, the whisky collector market is totally nuts and driving up prices on all spirits. I am thankful to still be able to get really good rums for less than $150 US.

By the way, that bottle of Caroni 17 Year is not only still sitting behind that locked cabinet for more than a month, but the price was dropped by one dollar. It can stay there because my other bottle wound up with my rating of a 7 instead of an 8 or higher. I buy rum for taste instead of "investing".

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kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 37 ratings Replied 17 Nov '21

Vomi, what about the US versions of the Criterion?

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vomi1011

From Germany with 395 ratings Replied 17 Nov '21

4000 bottles worldwide, 2000 EU/UK and 2000 for US.

Destino is 2y bourbon, 12y madeira. It's something like Destino.

Here are some bottle numbers:

Mark I – “1998” 1998-2008 10 YO, Bourbon Cask, 40%, 15,000 bottles

Mark II – “Port Cask Finish” 2005-2014 9YO, 3yr-Bourbon, 6yr-Port, 40%, 30,000 bottles

Mark III – “2004” 2004-2015 11 YO, Bourbon Cask, 59%, 24,000 bottles

Mark IV – “Zinfadel” 2004-2015 11 YO Bourbon & Zinfadel casks, 43%, 24,000 bottles

Mark V – “Criterion” 2007-2017 10 YO, 3yr-Bourbon, 7yr-Madeira, 56%, 4,000 bottles

Mark VI – “2005” 2005-2017 12 YO, ex-bourbon, 59%, 24,000 bottles

Mark VII – “Dominus” 2008-2018 10 YO, ex-bourbon, ex-cognac, 56%, 12,000 bottles

Mark VIII – “Premise” 2008-2018 10 YO, ex-bourbon, ex-Sherry, 46%, 30,000 bottles

Mark IX – “Empery” 2004-2018 14 YO, ex-bourbon, ex-Sherry, 56%, 12,000 bottles

Mark X – “2007” 2007-2019 12 YO, ex-bourbon, 59%, 27,000 bottles

Mark XI – “Sagacity” 2007-2019 12 YO, ex-bourbon, ex-Madeira, 48%, 24,000 bottles

Mark XII – “Nobiliary” 2005-2019 14 YO, ex-bourbon, 62%, 12,000 bottles

Mark XIII – “2008” 2008-2020 12 YO, ex-bourbon, 60%, 27,000 bottles

Mark XIV – “Détente” 2010-2020 10 YO, ex-bourbon, ex-Port, 51%, 21,000 bottles

Mark XV – “Redoubtable” 2006-2020 14 YO, ex-bourbon, ex-Madeira, 61%, 12,000 bottles

Mark XVI – “Shibboleth” 2005-2021 16 YO, ex-bourbon, 56%, 9,600 bottles

Mark XVII – “2009” 2009-2021 12 YO, ex-bourbon, 60%, 30,000 bottles

https://thelonecaner.com/key-rums-of-the-world-foursquare-exceptional-cask-series/?lang=de

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Stefan Persson (TASTING CLUB)

From Sweden with 260 ratings Replied 17 Nov '21

I think it's quite simple, just don't buy overpriced limited releases from Mr. Gargano and other independent bottlers, who are the ones driving this development along with those who are speculating in my opinion.

Let those who speculates in alcohol have their little fun for themselves. The fewer people who show interest in these bottlings, the smaller the price increase will be and thus the interest will decrease among those who speculate.

Unfortunately, there are some here who very often discuss which bottles are the best investment regarding the expected price increase.

These people thus contribute to the current development and should therefore not whine.

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vomi1011

From Germany with 395 ratings Replied 17 Nov '21

This post isn't primarily about price increases, we've just drifted in that direction because it's easy to get excited about it. I have written about my strategy in other threads and how I deal with price increases.

What I see are rums that don't make sense to me. Especially too young or too old rums with weaknesses that the bottler tries to cover up by letting them mature in virgin oak for a longer period of time. The goal is to somehow make this rum drinkable and sell it for a lot of money.

Something similar was done with sweet rum, now that the added sugar has to be reduced, attempts are made to cover up the weaknesses with virgin oak barrels. We already saw rum from wet PX cask. It's nothing other than pouring some sherry into the rum. But this fantasy bottling from Dark Matter tops everything I've seen so far.

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Paul B

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 17 Nov '21

I agree with Stefan. No wonder I can't find another bottle of Shibboleth at all. And if I found another bottle, the price would be sky high. This kind of crap has encouraged me to stop playing this dirty rotten game by competing with speculators just to get good tasting rum. There are plenty of other fish in the sea.

Out of the six Foursquare ECS rums that I have tried, two got my rating as an 8, two rated as a 7, one rated as a 6, and one rated as a 5. For this kind of money, they are simply not worth it. I am now wondering if many of the rave reviews are from speculators trying to push the prices up.

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Mr. Rumantic

From Germany with 151 ratings Replied 17 Nov '21

@vomi: i guess than it is only a matter of time till somebody pays the 25000€ for the Clement 1966 in a well known german rum online Shop... 🤣🤣🤣. Not my spheres to move or act... All those high priced Rums... i stay on earth😉 quite nice here 😃✌

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Paul B

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 17 Nov '21

This is all analagous to concert tickets for aging bands such as Genesis or The Rolling Stones. They all know that speculators will buy up the best floor seats in the hopes of making huge aftermarket profits. So each band charges ridiculous prices for floor seats to begin with. For Genesis, the initial price for floor seats was already too high, so I said to hell with them. I now refuse to see the Stones at any price. Twice in my life was enough.

What we publicly called these speculators on the internet or social media was "scalpers".  What we all privately called them was "scum of the earth" because they prevent true fans with lesser means from seeing their favorite bands up close.

The same goes for Foursquare ECS rums. They are already overpriced when they hit the shelves and then speculators scoop them all up in the hopes of making huge profits. I will NEVER buy one of their rums again and the most recent one that I bought would have rated as a 5.

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kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 37 ratings Replied 18 Nov '21

What I also find ridiculous about the Dark Matter rum prices is the difference between the individual bottles. Exactly the same rum is inside each of the bottles, how come the 009 bottle be 5x cheaper than the 001? You pay only for the name and this is just sad because this is not a rum meant to be drunk anymore

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vomi1011

From Germany with 395 ratings Replied 18 Nov '21

If I were a millionaire, I would drink or split that bottle. We don't know who bought it. I suspect that was a whiskey collector. But I don't care about this distillery, it has nothing to do with traditional rum. I would rather enjoy a rum from Jamaica or Guyana.

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Toni (PREMIUM)

From Germany with 25 ratings Replied 19 Nov '21

Looks more like a marketing manipulation coup to me.

Now everybody in the community is discussing this brand. 

How this work? Sell some bottles from anonymous A to B.

Pay 25%fees. Voila. You have a cheap and effective marketing campaign.

I once worked in an online auction house. It was closed because they got trust issues with the customers since the owners of the platform manipulated. And I also witnessed that one designer bid for his own work... It is not daily basis but it is still pretty common I would say.

 

 

 

 

 

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kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 37 ratings Replied 19 Nov '21

Well, auctions are not perfect but sometimes this is the only way to get certain bottling. I may complain but I will accept it eventually just to get rum I want. 

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vomi1011

From Germany with 395 ratings Replied 19 Nov '21

This could be the case because rumauctioneer supported this dumb matter as their exclusive bevor the auction.

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kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 37 ratings Replied 19 Nov '21

I'm actually far from criticizing the distillery. They just put their stuff on the market, they are not directly responsible for the price.

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vomi1011

From Germany with 395 ratings Replied 19 Nov '21

They bottled 9 bottles, this is not a distillery amount. They are responsible for this nonsence.

Renegade is also a new distillery, they put their products on the market and everyone can buy their rhum.

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Rene Rum (PREMIUM)

From Switzerland with 440 ratings Replied 19 Nov '21

This is an absolutely decadent outgrowth of our Western "money doesn't matter" mentality. Too many rich people who don't know what to do with their money. No idea where I should take 13000.-.

But this is a completely exclusive item and that ultimately makes the price, besides who is willing to pay the price. You never know what is in ten years..... 

On the other hand, I also belong to the "bad guys". I have recognized a little more than four years ago that certain rums from certain distilleries increase in price and have invested every free penny in bottles so that I end up owning about two dozen delicious bottles. The good thing is, I love this stuff, if in the future no one is willing to pay anything more I drink it with pleasure myself. So why should I not make use of my rum knowledge, in a small way of course. Whoever wants to may judge me.

By the way, I'm rummaging around on such sites stumbled on things that almost scared me, that I have rum standing around which has increased almost more in value than my "invest" rum. For example, a Diplomatico 2001 I have kept for special occasions. Or a Savanna brought back from vacation and the price quintupled, that's insanity. I expected it to double every ten years four years ago.

And in the end, well, a good rum just costs between 50 and 200. Everything else is luxury and exclusivity. But that's also what's needed in the free market, which is what we all want. And finally, we do not have to buy anything that we do not want and there are also good alternatives such as for Barbados Rum, Doorly's or Cockspur.

Damn, I forgot to take my pills.

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Jimmy Cliff (PREMIUM)

From United States with 335 ratings Replied 20 Nov '21

Paul after having my own troubles getting  Shibboleth even after pre purchasing in June from Total Wine's Concierge program, I just stumbled upon several bottles at an specialty independent liquor store in town. Feel free to reach out to me if you want them. I just saw them yesterday. 

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Paul B

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 20 Nov '21

Jimmy:

I bumped my rating of Shibboleth back down to an 8 where it first started. So I am no longer in a crazy hunt to find another botlle, but thanks anyway. If any rum needs to have a few ice cubes or water added to it, then it is not right for me. Good rum should taste just fine straight from the bottle.

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Paul B

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 20 Nov '21

As for auctions, I have never attended any and they are quite popular in the rural areas surrounding me. You get my drift! So, I sure in hell would never go for a rum auction!

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Jimmy Cliff (PREMIUM)

From United States with 335 ratings Replied 20 Nov '21

LOL the rum auction is online like sports betting. It's actually quite exciting and fun. I like to pick off the low hanging fruit, and rums not available in my area like Milinareo XO, Santiago de Cuba. I often get good rums for less than street value. The trick is to research make list set limits, because one month a certain rum might go for $350, but if you hold out a month or two you can win it for $130. I wait till the last 5 minutes of the auction to start bidding as it's open for around 10 days. 

My Christmas auction haul just arrived yesterday, a couple of these were in the $20-$30 range, the others were bucket list splurge. Hey my wife wanted to get me something special for the holidays. Why not.

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kudzey (TASTING CLUB)

From Poland with 37 ratings Replied 20 Nov '21

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Jimmy Cliff (PREMIUM)

From United States with 335 ratings Replied 20 Nov '21

Rum auctioneer in Scotland. Auction ended Monday evening and my rum arrived yesterday. Fastest ever, sometimes it takes several weeks. One month the shipment was lost at sea and they promptly refunded all my money. 

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Reeb Barbill

From Isle of Man with 49 ratings Replied 29 Nov '21

I know we're mainly talking about the prices, but rum aged in Scotland doesn't taste nice at all.

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vomi1011

From Germany with 395 ratings Replied 30 Nov '21

Continental aging takes place more slowly than tropical one. I also see no reason to store rum continental, at most to avoid evaporation.

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vomi1011

From Germany with 395 ratings Replied 1 Dec '21

I hope Japanese rum will hold back a little longer. 😂  Same whisky, different bottle designs.

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Paul B

From United States with 420 ratings Replied 1 Dec '21

The rum market is nothing compared to what I saw on this recent Black Friday. I drove into New Orleans to buy two bottles of rums that are hard to find (and affordable). When I got there when the store opened, the line was almost three dozen deep waiting to get into the door. So much for avoiding Black Friday crowds. So I asked the man in front of me what they were giving away and I told him that nobody wants what I want. When I told him that I wanted two bottles of rum, he told me that everyone in line was waiting for bourbon and the door man came out and said that anyone not waiting for bourbon could come to the front of the line. I certainly did and the door man recogniozed me as a regular. Well, when I walked in, the lady at the front made a vicious remark, "Watch him!" as if I was lying about wanting rum. I thought that this whole scene was quite insane!!! Then the owner told me that they had started lining up at 5 am, which was 6 hours before. When I got home, I went to their Facebook page to see what all of the hoopla was about. All I could figure was the new arrival of Sazerac Rye Single Barrel Select from this store was the reason.  In other words, when all of them are gone, then there is no more. So these were all speculators hoping to make huge profits. I have had their regular rye years ago and it was only good for making a perfect coffee.

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