Who knows what lurks in the cellars of the grand mansions of England? The mind boggles at the possibilities but the presence of bottles of the oldest and most expensive rum in the world is probably not something that you would expect!
So how did these bottles of rum end up covered in cobwebs and mould in the cellar of Lord Harewood’s estate in Leeds? The story goes that the rum was brought back to England by Henry Lascelles in the 18th century after being distilled into barrels by slaves on his West Indian property in Barbados. Interestingly, this estate now belongs to well-known rum producer Mount Gay.
On arrival in England it was bottled but surprisingly only a small amount was consumed. By the start of the 20th century the rum seems to have been more or less forgotten, as rum had gone out of fashion. The dusty bottles of rum were only discovered in 2011, when Mark Lascelles, brother of the eighth Earl of Harewood, decided to do a stocktake of the cellar.
The sale of some of these bottles at Christies Auction House last year surpassed all expectations, with the final sum being over £135,000. This makes each bottle of rum worth £8,482 on average, making it not only the oldest but also the most expensive rum in the world.
In an interesting twist, Mount Gay Distilleries Ltd., successfully purchased the three of the bottles at the auction to bring back and exhibit in their original birthplace, Barbados.
The other good news is that the profits from the sale were donated to the Geraldine Connor Foundation which helps disadvantaged young people train in the performing arts.
Original Story: That’s the spirit, Daily Mail UK