Oldest Auctioned Rum Ever Dates to 1780s

Would you dare drink a 234-year-old rum? Probably not, especially if it was going for over $17,500 a bottle.

A 16-bottle collection of light and dark rum dated to the 1780s just sold at a Christie’s Finest Wines and Rarest Spirits auction in London for over £135,000—about $212,000. It was the second set of auctioned bottles from the Harewood House Rum Collection, discovered in the cellar of the historic Leeds country house. At Christie’s, bottles of dark rum from the collection set world record prices at £11,162 ($17,576) per bottle.

The expressions originate from Barbados, where they were distilled and then shipped via barrels to be bottled at Harewood House in the UK. The bottles auctioned off were the originals, but the spirits had replacement corks and featured newly waxed capsules. In December of last year, a previous set of 12 Harewood bottles sold for £78,255 ($123,138).

The sale of the rum also helped raise proceeds for the Geraldine Connor Foundation to aid disenfranchised young people in the performing arts.

So how would the sugarcane spirit taste after all these years? It would depend on how well the liquor stayed cool in the Harewood cellar and how much oxygen remained in each bottle to eat up flavor over the centuries, as Serious Eats suggests. But rest assured, it’s unlikely the collectors are hankering to drink their investments anytime soon.

Read more about the auction at The Spirits Business.

Oldest Auctioned Rum Ever Dates to 1780s

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