It’s no secret that rum has entered the era of financialisation, even speculation. Many of you may be wondering how much the pins that have been sitting in your bar for the past few years are worth… This is the question Spirit Radar answers. Even if at Rumporter, we’d rather open a good bottle to share it with friends, than sell it. Meet Jakub Kasparu, founder of Spirit Radar.
Rumporter : How does Spirit Radar work?
Jakub Kasparu : SpiritRadar.com browses thousands of online stores and auction sites to check the pricing and availability of products in our database and also searches for brand new items every few minutes. The most important thing for customers, at this point, is that our system matches and assigns each offer found with a product in the SpiritRadar.com database.
For example, if a customer is tracking a bottle, an alert is displayed in our system, and an email is sent simultaneously; the customer, therefore, receives info about the desired bottle within minutes.
We keep all the data to calculate the market value of all bottles in our database (currently more than 55,000 bottles). As a result, our customers get a very accurate market value of the desired products. We calculate both current and historical market value based on data we have been collecting since 2011. The market value history and its evolution are clearly displayed in charts.
Just for the record, we check almost 1 million offers daily. Every day, we discover around 20,000 new offers, so there are currently over 3 million offers in our database, and this number grows by 10% every month.
What are the different functions?
SpiritRadar.com provides a fast and convenient interface for searching and filtering bottles.
Customers can watch the bottles (‘Watch Dog’) and thus get information about all in-stock offers and auctions around the world immediately.
Because we have been collecting data since 2011 from e-auctions and e-stores, you can check the detailed history of the bottle’s offers.
We monitor the rum and whiskey market and add newly released bottles to the application, which can be added to the personal ‘Watch List’ and thus purchased for the opening price.
‘My Collection’ feature allows you to see the development of the value of your collection in real-time and have control of your collection.
Our customers also appreciate the ‘Shopping Tips’ where we show attractive bottle deals that are currently available. What makes them attractive? The price that is significantly lower than the current calculated market value or the ones that haven’t been available for a long time.
Can I buy bottles directly from spirit radar?
Unfortunately, buying bottles directly from SpiritRadar.com is not possible.
All of the founders of SpiritRadar.com are whisky and rum lovers. We drink and taste the spirits together, but we lacked a perfect tool to save us time and money searching for deals as there are a lot of online stores and auction servers. So that’s how SpiritRadar.com was born.
Although you can’t buy spirits directly, you can quickly find available bottles at an online store, a bottle you didn’t even know existed, thanks to SpiritRadar.com.
Who are the users of spirit radar?
We currently have two kinds of customers. One group is private collectors looking for a tool that will save them time and help them find interesting bottles they might have missed at the spirit market. At the same time, they can easily and quickly check a huge number of auctions, pricing, and availability history and record their collection in the SpiritRadar.com app.
The second group is owners of online stores. They use the application to keep up with the news at the spirit market or find popular bottles. SpiritRadar.com helps them browse the new trends in other countries or monitor the pricing of their rival companies. SpiritRadar.com also allows them to compare their prices with our Market Value easily. For example, the cost of limited rum and whiskey series grows by 20% annually, and some bottles’ price grows much faster.
Why did you start with rum instead of whisky?
The reason is straightforward. Since we are all primarily lovers and drinkers of rum, we started to collect and invest in this category. We needed to keep up with the news and trends and buy reasonably priced bottles.
And that’s why SpiritRadar.com was created. But since we also like whiskey, we gradually added this category to the database. We currently have over 11,000 rum bottles, making us the largest database of rums (and data on them) globally. Although we have around 45,000 bottles of whiskey in the database (most of them suitable for investment), we still have a lot of work ahead.
Which bottles are the most sought after? What are the main market trends?
And now that we’ve covered the basic features you’ll find in the app, we’d like to introduce you to “SpiritRadar by the numbers”.
We mentioned the data we have been collecting since 2011. Based on them, we not only calculate the current market’s average price but also enable us to report on the historical value/price of different bottles, i.e., how the price has evolved over time.
In the example of the graphs below, you can see how the popularity of auctions, whether for rum or whisky, has increased. It has to be said that we are unable to include offline auctions in the database, and from the years up to 2020, we could not cover all existing ones. Still, despite this “shortcoming”, the graphs show pretty clearly how the number of offers from auction portals has increased tremendously from 2011 to the present.
And if you are interested only in rum, please have a look at this chart (below) that shows how the popularity of rum auctions has increased over the years.
And if you are interested only in rum, please have a look at this chart (below) that shows how the popularity of rum auctions has increased over the years.
But what is particularly interesting and important to us and our customers are the average prices of offers from online auctions. For example, in the chart below, you can see the average cost of all registered (listed in the database) auction offers over the years, and again, rum as compared to whisky.
So, what is the difference between the annual average auction price of rum and whisky?
So, what is the difference between the annual average auction price of rum and whisky? Although whisky is very popular as investable alcohol and some bottles, especially some very limited and rare batches, are pretty expensive, rum bottles seem to be the right choice for beginners in investing and collecting rums.
Despite the fact that bottles of rum are cheaper than whisky bottles in general, rums are becoming more and more popular, especially in recent years; thanks to more affordable prices and the fact that there are much fewer rum bottles than the whisky ones, they may be more suitable for newbie investors.
However, the most important and sought-after information that SpiritRadar can provide are charts of individual brands and bottles of rum and their year-over-year (YOY) growth. We have selected for you the 10 best-performing rum brands. However, we didn’t just pick them based on their YOY but also their popularity in the “rum world”.
It means we didn’t just choose the ones with the relatively highest YOY, but the bottles we know are famous among the investors and collectors; brands that have a rich history and are safe to invest in, as well as we are sure about the YOY growth as you can find enough (not only one) bottles in our database.
These brands include:
The Italian brand Velier covers 149 limited products in the database, with a YOY value of 118.6%.
Rom De Luxe
14 bottles from rare and limited editions, and a YOY of 54.6% – this is the Danish brand Rom de Luxe.
The long-established brand called Savanna, from Reunion Island, counts 46 limited products in its database, and its YOY is 42.5%.
You will find more than 8 limited bottles by the Philippines rum company Don Papa.
Its YOY is stated to be 39.7%
SpiritRadar covers 16 rum bottles from its limited series, and the YOY of A.H. Riise,
the famous Danish rum brand, is stated to be 30.5%.
The specialist in limited editions of rums from tropical regions, Silver Seal,
with a YOY of 30%, offers 50 limited rum bottles in our database.
You will never make a bad choice with rums produced by Italian Habitation Velier, which you can find 12 products of limited series on SpiritRadar, and its YOY is 30%.
Of course you know Neisson, the smallest distillery in Martinique. If you fancy a limited rum bottle, you can choose among 32 products. The YOY is stated at 28.1%.
You will find more than 22 limited bottles of rum by Foursquare, the Barbados family-owned distillery. The average Foursquare YOY is 24.8%.
The Wild Parrot
The Wild Parrot, a beautiful limited edition collection created in collaboration with various distilleries, has 14 limited bottles in our database and a YOY of 21.8%.
And as a bonus for those who have read this far (that’s what we call dedication!), we have the TOP 10 bottles that are very popular among our customers and rank among the bottles of rum with the highest year-on-year percentage growth (YOY).
On each chart, you will see a green line showing the evolution of the average market value; the blue points indicate the minimum price at which the bottle was offered during the period, and the orange points indicate the maximum price at which the bottle was offered during the period.
Velier Caroni 1989 Full Proof Light Trinidad 17yo 64.2% 700ml
The first bottle we want to show you is from an Italian brand called Velier, distilled in Caroni distillery in 1989. The rum comes from the Trinidad and Tobago region. It was bottled in 2006 after 17 years of aging, and only 680 bottles were produced. Its YOY was stated at 401 %. As we can see in the graph, its price started to rise sharply in September 2021, going from 1 695 € to 6 500 €.
From then on, it grew until May 2022, when its price was 9 018 €. After May 2022, the price dropped slightly to around 8 500 €. The bottle is currently available in several e-stores, where its price is kept at 8 500 €. Prior to May 2022, the price at e-stores ranged from 7 000 € to 8 000 €. The online e-auction houses have the last recorded bids at 1 695 € in November 2019.
Rom De Luxe 1998 Caroni Uhrskov Vine Wild Series No.12 TMCG 23yo 63.1% 700ml
This bottle was produced by a famous brand, Rom de Luxe. It’s a rum from the limited edition Wild Series. Its distillation began in 1998 and matured for 23 years until 2021. The rum comes from Trinidad and Tobago, and the distillery that participated in the production is called Caroni. This rum, which boasts an ABV of 63.1%, was bottled into just 220 bottles. Its YOY was stated at 124%.
The current market value of this rum is set at 2 041 €, with its price rising sharply in May 2022. Prior to then, it was around 1 300 € to 1 400 €. Since February 2021, when its price was about 750 €, it has experienced ups and downs, which continue to this day. On July 4, 2022, the price was about 2 200 €, and on July 18, 2022, it was roughly 2 041 €. Currently, it cannot be purchased in any e-store; the last record we have is from July 18, when the bottle was sold for 2 600 €. Unfortunately, there are currently no e-auctions, but there were two in July; one ended with a price of 1 713 € and the other 1 772 €.
Savanna 2004 Single Cask #391 14yo 57% 500ml
This is a rum bottle from Savanna, from the Reunion region, its distillation began in 2004 and was bottled in 2018, so it’s a 14-year-old rum. Again, this is a limited edition, and only 905 bottles saw the light of the day. Its YOY is 119 %.
We calculated the current market value at 310 €, while at the beginning of 2021, its average price was 111 €. Its price started to rise the most from 133 € in September 2021. It climbed up to 304 € in February 2022. The price has fallen slightly to the current 310 €, so it is a slight decrease from May 2022, when its price was around 321 €. The bottle can currently be purchased at two German e-stores for 349 € (price stable since November 2021) and 389 € (price stable since January 2022). We did not find the bottle at any live e-auctions, but the most recent records say that the bottle was sold at e-auction in June 2022 for 281 €.
Don Papa Small Batch Sevillana Cask Finish 40% 700ml
And here we have a bottle by famous brand Don Papa, well known for all their extraordinary labels. This limited edition bottle is called Sevillana and comes from the Philippines. YOY was stated at 23 %.
The current market value is set at 447 €, with its price constantly rising. We have the oldest price records from November 2019, when its price was around 109 €. The development of the price since the beginning of 2022, when its average price was set at 339 €, is also interesting.
From January to July of this year, the price increased by 102 €, or by about 23%. The highest number of offers occurred between December 2021 and January 2022. The bottle can still be purchased in e-stores (Germany, France), and the price ranges from 449 € to 500 €. There are currently no e-auctions, but the most recent record we have is from July 19, 2022, when the bottle was auctioned for 489 €. It’s a big jump from the start of 2022 when this bottle fetched around 350 €.
A.H. Riise Platinum Reserve 42% 700ml
You are looking at a rum by A.H. Riise, produced in the USA. 6 000 bottles of this rum were produced, so there’s a big chance that you will actually get one. YOY is 121 %.
The price development of this rum is fascinating, as our oldest records say that the price in August 2020 was around 208 € per bottle. Then, with gradual growth, it reached 772 € (end of May and end of July 2022). The current market value is set at 691 €. Regarding offers, you had the best chance to buy between August 2020 and March 2021. Today, you can buy a bottle in a Czech e-store for 945 € (this price has been stable since the end of June 2022) and in a German e-store for 849 €. We found no offers on e-auctions, but according to our most recent records, this bottle was auctioned on July 7, 2022, for 734 €, which is a big difference compared to the turn of 2021 and 2022, when it was auctioned for around 300 €.
Silver Seal 1988 Enmore Demerara 27yo 50% 700ml
Now let’s move on to Silver Seal and this excellent rum, distilled in 1988. The rum is from Guana, matured for 27 years, and was bottled in 2016. Like all the bottles on this list, this rum is a limited edition, and bottled into just 189 bottles. Its YOY stopped at 24 %.
The current market value of this Silver Seal rum is set at 1476 €, and according to our records, as of late, the price has been constantly increasing. Shortly after this bottle saw the light of the day, in September 2017, its price was around 358 €. From the beginning of May 2018, its price fell to 207 €, and it remained at this level until the beginning of February 2020, when the price went up to 819 €. This was followed by a short-term drop in the price and a rise again at the beginning of July 2020, when the price hovered at around 1 188 €. The price did not reach its current market value until July 11, 2022. Unfortunately, the bottle is currently not available for purchase in either e-store or e-auction. We have the last records of the price in e-stores from November 2021, where the offer price was held at 1 210 €. As for e-auctions, this bottle went up for sale on July 11, 2022, for 1 476 €.
Habitation Velier Hampden <>H Jamaica Whisky Live Paris 2018 66% 700ml
This rum was specially bottled in 2018 for Whiskey Live Paris. It comes from Jamaica, from the Hampden Distillery, and only 300 bottles were produced. Its YOY is 237 %.
As we can see, its current market value is set at 660 €. We have the oldest price records from February 2019, when the market value was set at 123 €. Then came a slight decline (from March to June 2019), and since then, the price has steadily increased. A significant turning point occurred in September 2021, when the price was around 269 €, and since then, it has grown to today’s market value of 660 €. Unfortunately, it does not appear very often in e-stores or e-auctions. At the moment, you won’t find it either. We have the most recent record from e-auction from January 10, 2022, when it was auctioned for 527 €. Interestingly, it was auctioned for 197 € in December 2020 and 270 € in September 2021, before jumping to almost double the price in October 2021 at 507 €.
Neisson Tatanka 2020 Rhum Blanc Agricole 55% 700ml
This rum from the Tatanka series of the Neisson brand is sure to impress because of its hand-painted bottle. It is a white rum that comes from Martinique and was bottled in 2020. YOY was stated at 132 %.
The price of this white rum rose with several price jumps in January 2022 and June 2022. According to our oldest price record, this bottle cost 80 € in April 2021. In June 2022, its price jumped to 223 €, and since then, the price hasn’t changed. Offers were quite plentiful until the end of June 2021. Since then, it has hardly appeared on the market. You can’t find it in any e-stores at the moment; the last offer was from the beginning of January 2022 and was sold for 129 € in a French e-store. It appeared in an e-auction for the last time on June 13, 2022, when it was sold for 322 €.