Oldest rum ever to be auctioned to go under the hammer in London

5th December, 2013 by Lucy Shaw

Twelve bottles of light and dark rum dating back to 1780 – the oldest rum ever to be auctioned – are to go under the hammer at Christie’s in London this month. 

Taking place at the auction house’s King Street headquarters on 12-13 December, in addition to the rum will be rare lots of 18th century Madeira.

The dozen bottles of rum, which are expected to fetch in the region of £10,000, were discovered under a thick coating of cobwebs and dust by chance in 2011 at Harwood House in Leeds during an inventory of the cellar.

“Christie’s is delighted to be offering this rare and unique rum – the oldest we’ve ever seen and just 14 years younger than Christie’s itself, which started in 1766,” said David Elswood, international director of Christie’s wine in Europe and Asia.

The six bottles of light and six bottles of dark rum are believed to have been distilled in Barbados, shipped in barrel and bottled at Harwood House.

According to Christie’s, the light rum offers “intense brûlée aromas of honey, cinnamon and baked apples,” while the dark rum boasts aromas of “spcied oranges, cedar and caramel.”

Also going under the hammer will be 157 lots of rare Madeira, including a “Terratez” JCA &CA from 1715, thought to be the oldest dated Madeira in existence.

Hailing from the cellar of Syrian embroidery merchant Braheem Kassab, the Madeira, housed in a Burgundy bottle, has an estimate of £2,500-£3,000.

Proceeds from the auction will go towards the Geraldine Connor Foundation to help disenfranchised young people in the performing arts.

One Response to “Oldest rum ever to be auctioned to go under the hammer in London”

  1. Dave Chandler says:

    I noticed that the bottles were standing upright; were they corked or was a parchment used to seal them??
    usually when the bottles were laid down the liquid inside will keep the cork moist and expanded to stop oxygen entering and destroying the contents. lets hope there was a tight seal and the rum is still drinkable.

    Dave Barbados WI

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