What is your price limit per bottle?

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Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 467 ratings Author Posted 23 Jul '22

When I started out on this site way back in December of 2017, my goal was to find the best tasting rum at the best possible price. I read reviews for Don Q Gran Anejo and eagerly went out to buy my own bottle. At $51 US, it was not worth it to me. So that is where my $50 limit per bottle came in.

Eventually, I felt that this limit was restrictive based upon one bad purchase, so I moved my limit up to $100 US. This served me well for a number of years. Then my limit became whatever I could afford along with whatever was available in the glass cases of my favorite liquor stores.  I was moving up in the rum world! Having rums shipped to where I live is out of the question because this is illegal where I live.

This led me to spend $190 US on my only bottle of Caroni, their 2000 17 Year at 110 proof.  I was glad to have finally tried a Caroni, but I rated it only as a 7 due to me not liking dirty notes. For anything costing $80 US or more, it had damn well better rate as an 8 or more. A few months later, I finally came across a bottle of Diplomatico Ambassador for $231 US. What inspired me to splurge was that a famous tiki bar in Las Vegas has this one as their most expensive pour, presumably for those that just won the jackpot (but I don't gamble).  I rated that one at a lowly 6 due to it's excesive sherry cask aging.

After regretting those two purchases, I set my new limit to $150 US per bottle. There were only a few exceptions in the $100 to $150 US range that I did not rate as an 8 or more. So this limit has stuck for me and I see no reason to change it. These days, I only try newly available rums. Check the enclosed photo of my new ultimate favorite at $150 US!

So what is your limit per bottle and how did you arrive at this amount?

Kevin 🇺🇸 | 71 ratings Replied 23 Jul '22

Paul, I've been happy in the $50 range. Every once in a while I splurge and go upwards to $100 but am often disappointed. I rarely get disappointed at the $40to $50 range. My average is 8 out of 10 bottles are good buys in the $50 range and 1 out of 3 in the $100 range so I'm happy knowing my selection is worthy of my palate and mostly my pocket. I go to my local TW store and purchase 4 bottles a month with prices between $25 &$70. That keeps me happy!

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 467 ratings Author Replied 23 Jul '22


Nothing worse than spending too much on a rum only to be disappointed. All of these reviews can minimize one's risk when spending a lot for a rum.

For me, it took years to perfect my formula to separate good buys from bad ones. Plain and simple, taste counts twice as much as price for me. My price percentage is the price before tax divided by my maximum allowable amount. As for taste,the only way to quantify it is to accurately rank all of the rums that have been tried. For example, let's say that a new rum winds up ranking 40th out of 400. This will yield a taste percentage in the upper 10%. Now let's say that this rum costs $50 before tax. It's price percentage would be in my upper $33.3%. So ((2*.10)+.333)/3 yields a final tally of .177 or 17.7%. In a spreadsheet, this becomes automatic with this formula. Anything with a final tally of less than 20% is an excellent buy. From 20% to 35% is a good buy. Anything that winds up at 50% or more is a terrible buy. Don't laugh, it works!!!!

So what makes a rum go from being an excellent buy to just plain old good buy? Eiither a low taste ranking or a high price, but not both.

Kevin 🇺🇸 | 71 ratings Replied 23 Jul '22

Paul, I'll leave all that math to you since your doing an outstanding job. I just love exploring the rum world bottle by bottle. Every once in a while I'll find one that I favor and will keep that in stock till I find another favorite. I enjoy the rotation. It seems to work perfectly for me. With so many choices in the $50 range I don't  think I'll ever find a favorite that will always be part of my line up. 

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 467 ratings Author Replied 23 Jul '22


Thanks for the compliment!!! I am a retired engineer from more than 7 years ago, so doing the math on anything keeps my brain from turning into mush.

Out of 54 rums that I paid between $40 US and $50 US, only 6 of them wound up rating below a 6 for me, which will never be bought again. Not bad at all for minimal financial risk!

And since I knew that you would ask, here are the six rums just mentioned ranked from a 5 to a 2:

Izalco 10 Year

Hampden Estate 8 Year

Ron Zacapa 23

Flor de Cana 18

Mount Gay XO

Old New Orleans 1718 Tricentennial Blend




Stefan Persson avatar image
Stefan Persson (PREMIUM) 🇸🇪 | 435 ratings Replied 25 Jul '22

I as I suppose all of us have done, I've raised my limit over time. Right now I try to keep it below €150, but sometimes I pay more when it comes to brands that I want a complete line of or as many different bottles as possible from.


KBIreland 🇺🇸 | 5 ratings Replied 28 Jul '22

Don't have one. Don't want one. And fortunately don't need one. My most expensive bottle is bottle 18 of 800. Appleton 50y Jamaica Independence Reserve. And yes I do drink it. 

bar la moura avatar image
bar la moura 🇭🇷 | 148 ratings Replied 28 Jul '22

i ve never set a limit, the most i ve spent so far is 175 euro for a bottle (and yes it is good), and i will pay pay more, but only if first try a shot and see that it really have the quality to justify such price ... unfortunately here it s impossible to find so many expensive rums, maybe the havana super premiums i can try in some hotel bar, i ve spent more than 300 euro for a bottle of japanese whisky and it is good yes but bought equal or better ones for 80-120 euro (scotch single malts)

Taster avatar image
Taster 🇨🇭 | 136 ratings Replied 31 Jul '22

Hard to say, depends on where you buy them. You can find bottles in France, Spain or Italy for half the prize you pay in Switzerland. My favorite Rums are often below 50€. I've had some Rums for over 100€, but none of them made it into my Top 5. But if the rum is rare and the rating is really good, I'll maybe pay 100€ again.

Jimmy Cliff avatar image
Jimmy Cliff (PREMIUM) 🇺🇸 | 467 ratings Replied 2 Aug '22

I don't have a set price limit. I prefer rums in the $40-$100 us range but have splurged for special occasions for $400 - $500 a bottle recently Eldorado 25 for $400 for my 400th rating. The most expensive bottle I have bought was a 1960's British navy rum flagon, around 2000 British pounds plus auction fees and shipping. It's for my retirement party when it ever comes or my wake should I pass untimely. They keep going up in price and will only continue so I thought I should get one when the price was right. I'm only 63 so I hope to open in next 5-10 years. 

akira_dk3 🇩🇰 | 0 ratings Replied 5 Aug '22

My upper limit is 500 euro for special bottles for birthday, wedding day etc.

For drinking in general my limit is 300 euro. But I like to hunt and find good value bottles, like foursquare, chairman's reserve master select and worthy park.

Andy avatar image
Andy (PREMIUM) 🇺🇸 | 131 ratings Replied 7 Aug '22

I spent $250 on Diplomatico Ambassador after tasting it as UK Rumfest 2015, at the time it was by far my favorite rum. Quite a few have surpassed it by now, and I've 'downrated' it to a 8, but still totally worth it to me as a splurge.

I wouldn't say I have an upper limit necessarily, but anything over $75 and I really look through other ratings to get a feeling if I'll likely enjoy it.

@Paul I wonder what your upper limit would be for a sample/mini bottle? I've always thought it would be cool to get a handful of members together to split $500+ bottles - just haven't found an easy way to facilitate it on RR. Kind of a more basic/easier version of my idea to group buy and hold rare casks.

Mr. Rumantic avatar image
Mr. Rumantic 🇩🇪 | 276 ratings Replied 8 Aug '22

Hello everyone. Mostly 50-150€ are the range where i buy bottles. I also have some bottles over 200€, like some Bristol Caroni or from the Appleton Hearts Collection. But i think there are so many great rums under 100€, that you can travel there very happy. But as often i tried some old very nice singe casks from Guyana, Jamaica or Trinidad and if you want a very deep, heavy complexity, the rums has to stay in the cask for some time, which makes it pricy. Thankfully there are bottle splits and samples which makes my rum journey much more versatile.

Paul B avatar image
Paul B 🇺🇸 | 467 ratings Author Replied 8 Aug '22


Where I live, spirits can neither be shipped to me nor can I send them out. So bottle splits are out of the question for me, but a VERY good idea for others.

That $150 bottle of Selvarey Owner's Reserve in my top posting is also now the most expensive rum on hand.  In other terms, it runs me $6 per ounce (plus tax). So how high would I go per ounce? I would say that $10 per ounce would be my top limit, which would equate to about $250 per bottle. I will let you do the math on ounces per liter to calculate maximum pricing for mini-bottles. Now I realize that splitting bottles up will cause the inidividual components to cost more than the calculated portions because this is saving those who get these mini-bottles lots of money by not risking an entire bottle.

However, most of my new rums sink down from their initial ratings. That $231 bottle of Dictador Ambassador went from a 9 to a 6 in my ratings after only a few weeks. So, a mini-bottle of that one would have inspired me to waste my money on an entire bottle.