Brugal Siglo de Oro Rum
Sometimes you are just lucky. I would never have come into possession of this bottle if not for a sequence of coincidences. When I returned from the cruise I found that in our absence the kitchen drain got completely blocked. So I went to Thornleigh Bunnings with an intention to buy a drain cleaner. Going there I passed Bargain Hunt Auctions. Olga and I always wanted to visit it but never found time. That day was Friday, which I took off, they were open for public to inspect the items before the Saturday auction, and we had no reason not not visit them. So we did. Going through the shelves I found a beautiful blue bottle which was marked “A bottle of liquor, unopened”. Naturally, I got interested and googled the bottle name. What I found was that it was the most celebrated rum produced in Dominican Republic — it marked a 100-year anniversary of Brugal distillery, was released in limited quantities once a year since 1988, and wasn’t imported in Australia. I checked the American and European prices and found that a modern glass bottle cost around 140 AUD. The one that I was looking at was an older ceramic design and the only two offers on Internet were 170 AUD.
I got excited, registered as a bidder and next day started monitoring the auction online. The thing is, there were around a thousand lots in the auction and the bottle had a lot number nine hundred plus. The auctioneers, on average, went through a hundred lots in an hour so I expected that my lot would be sold at around 6 pm. It didn’t make sense to spend the whole day at the auction, so I went about my business while keeping an eye on the progress of the auction. Suddenly, around 4 pm I noticed that the lot numbers advanced by 150 in one minute. I checked the catalog and found that there was a gap in consecutive numbering, and my lot could be traded in the next hour. We immediately jumped in the car and drove to the auction.
Although I’d seen quite a few auctions on TV, it was quite different to be present at an auction in person, and as a bidder. Firstly, I had to get used to the pace of bid calls which was different for each auctioneer (there were two). Secondly, it’s the excitement of the competition which made my heart beat faster. I realised that I could get carried away and pay more than I intended. When it was time for my lot I took a few deep breaths, calmed myself down and became all ears.
To be honest, all that build-up was wasted. There was an initial bid, then I raised my card and then the bidding was over — I won. I didn’t mention it before, but the lot actually had two items — a bottle of rum and a heavy glass decanter. For two of those I paid in total $55. Those guys are called “Bargain Hunt” for reason.
Finally, about the rum; it has quite a unique taste. Imagine a block of very good dark silky chocolate flavoured with fine rum. The taste of Brugal Siglo de Oro is pretty much the same but it’s more rum than chocolate. The taste was so intense that I even thought about pairing it with some food. On second thought, I decided that I would rather have it neat, in small doses to avoid taste overload and stretch the indulgence as long as possible — for all I know, it’s one of only three such bottles remaining in the world and is my last chance to enjoy this rum.
In summary, it was a worthy purchase and I’d like to compare it to the recent releases but that will take a trip to America or Europe. Olga has started planning.