Rum is a sweet and smooth spirit distilled from fermented sugar cane. It is known for adding a tropical flavor to cocktails and having a luscious body that is delightful when savored neat. Rums produced from molasses have an earthy, spicy flavor profile reminiscent of baked goods. Those made from sugar, like New Grove Double Cask Moscatel Finish Rum or Rhum Clement Select Rum, carry brighter notes of vanilla and citrus. Coconut rum is also a popular variation, which has added to rum’s reputation as a tropical spirit. However, there is a wide variety of rums, ranging from light and fruity to deep, complex spirits that can compete with fine whiskies. Rums vary from light to dark; the darkness indicates the aging method and duration. Each rum on our list has a unique background and flavor profile. This means that these rums are not just top-shelf. They’re also extremely hard to find. Our list of the most expensive rums in the world will inspire your next purchase.
The 10 Most Expensive Rums
Dictador M-City Golden Cities Series: $1.5 million
It seems appropriate that the most valuable rum is also the most exclusive. This bottle is available for purchase by invitation only. Dictador, a Colombian brand specializing in aged rum, invites special clients to visit the distillery located in Cartagena de Indias and create their own one-of-a-kind blend from a selection of 110 private casks. This bottle’s starting price is $1.5 million, but the final amount depends on the buyer’s customization and specifications. After blending the rum, experts pour it into a handmade, personalized 24-karat-gold-plated bottle engraved with the map of Cartagena, designed by Polish artist M-City.
Legacy by Angostura: $100,000
This rum commemorates 50 years of Trinidad & Tobago’s independence. It contains seven blends, the youngest of which is 17 years old. The deep mahogany spirit carries notes of dried fruit, oak, spice cake, cinnamon, and clove. Its palate is similar but has hints of brown sugar, amaretto, and espresso with a finish of fruitcake and lemon zest. Asprey of London certainly had elegance in mind when designing the bottle, which has an understated crystal body and sterling silver butterfly stopper. Legacy produced only 20 bottles and placed them at auction in 2012. This bottle is currently worth $100,000, a huge increase from the price that buyers originally paid for Legacy by Angostura: $25,000!
J. Wray & Nephew 1940s: $54,000
This bottle of rum carries a rich history. It began in the early 1800s when Jamaican-born entrepreneur John Wray built a tavern next to Theatre Royal called the Shakespeare Tavern, where he blended rums from local estates. When Wray’s nephew Charles James Ward joined him in 1860, they renamed the brand J. Wray and Nephew. Experts speculate that this bottle dates back to 1949 and contains rum distilled around 1915. Only four confirmed bottles are in existence; their rarity only increases their value.
1780 Harewood Light Barbados Rum: $51,000
This bottle holds the Guinness Record for the world’s oldest rum. Entrepreneur Henry Lascelles distilled this rum in Harewood, his private Barbados estate, around 1780. During an inspection of its cellar in 2011, they discovered these bottles of rum tucked away on a high shelf and masked by cobwebs. Christie’s in London recovered 59 bottles, but only 23 were suitable for resale. The auction house sold the salvageable bottles for $9,500 each and donated the proceeds to the Geraldine Connor Foundation. Since then, experts estimate that the bottles have increased in value and are now worth $51,000 each. The blend has aromas of honey, cinnamon, and baked apples.
Dictador Generations 1976 En Lalique: $41,950
From a complex palate to a stunning bottle, this ultra-premium rum has it all. Distilled in 1976 and aged in American oak and Port casks, it has notes of leather, ripe plums, and clove. The palate includes flavors of caramel, cocoa, roasted honey, and coffee. French glassmaker Lalique designed the bottle with an eye to the sea’s crashing waves in an homage to the brand’s Caribbean roots. Sotheby’s sold the first bottle at auction in 2021 for about $41,950, the most expensive rum sold at auction at the time. Only 300 bottles of this limited-edition rum are available.
50-Year-Old Appleton Estate Jamaica Independence Reserve: $18,000
This rum is unique because it required the work of two master blenders and took over five decades to complete. In 1962, when Jamaica declared independence, master blender Owen Tulloch barreled a special blend with the intention of aging it for 50 years and having it bottled on the Golden Jubilee of the country’s independence. He nurtured the aging blend before passing the project to his protégé, Joy Spence, who bottled the special rum in 2012 to celebrate the momentous occasion. The blend has an aroma of citrus and a palate of spice, ginger, butterscotch, vanilla, coffee, and almonds, with a long and thick finish. The reserve yielded 800 bottles, and the highest price of a bottle currently for sale is $18,000.
Goslings Auld Rum: $10,000
This limited-edition rum is the oldest blend in the Goslings portfolio. The rum first aged for 10-12 years before being finished in first-fill bourbon barrels for six months. Then, the rum was ready to be blended and bottled and stored in glass flagons. The total number of years it aged is a staggering 49 years. The decanter is charged with nautical undertones, resembling a bottle holding a treasure map, with a thin rope wrapped around its neck and a wooden stopper. The blend has an earthy aroma with deep notes of caramel. You can purchase this coveted bottle for $10,000.
Havana Club Máximo Extra Añejo: $6,000
Rum plays a significant role in Cuban culture. The Havana Club Máximo homes in on this tradition by blending the oldest reserves of Havana Club’s cellars. Its aroma is an intense but balanced symphony of oak, fresh pear, coconut, and dried fruit. The rum is sweet with hints of dark chocolate and vanilla. Máximo produces 1,000 bottles every year, priced at $6,000 each. The rum comes in sleek packaging that celebrates Cuban craftsmanship, making this bottle an excellent choice for a special occasion.
Ron Bacardí de Maestros de Ron Vintage MMXII: $2,000
This rum’s rich history all started with Don Facundo Bacardí Massó, the founder of Bacardí. Eight of his descendants blended it using the most decadent casks from Bacardi’s Mexican and Puerto Rican distilleries. The rum has a warm, sweet aroma and palate of caramelized banana, vanilla, and espresso — a profile perfected by aging in a cognac cask for 60 years. An engraving of palm leaves on the decanter’s neck and the “crack” on the surface symbolizes the next generation, or future, of Bacardí. The company produced only 997 bottles and gifted 600 bottles to the Barcardí family for the 150th anniversary of the family business. This means that there are only 397 remaining bottles. A bottle costs $2,000, meaning this premium rum is well within reach.
Black Tot Last British Royal Naval Rum: $850
In July 1970, the British Royal Navy ended its daily rum ration to sailors. That day is famously known as “Black Tot Day,” giving this rum its name. The spirit is an ode to the sailors whose difficult lives at sea were eased by a soothing glass of rum. The blend contains the last reserves of Royal Navy Rum, untouched for 40 years. It has bold notes of dark berries, dark chocolate, oak, and coffee. This bottle is priced at $850 and is a historical blend that appears at royal weddings.