Press Release – Auction records broken by rare rum bottled for US President Ronald Reagan

PERTH, SCOTLAND – An exceptionally rare rum, the J. Wray & Nephew President’s Reserve has broken auction records, achieving a hammer price of £31,500 in an online rum auction held by Perth based Whisky Auctioneer (

Attracting over 50 bids from across the globe, the winning bid came from Italy and sets a new record for an individual bottle of rum sold at auction.
The bottle in question is number four of only 12 made to commemorate the visit of US President Ronald Reagan to Jamaica in 1982. During the visit two bottles were gifted to President Reagan, with the remainder given to dignitaries and distillery representatives also present.

Bottle number four is the only known example to have come onto the secondary market, having previously sold at Bonhams, New York for £1213 (inc. premium) in 2013. Such is the rarity and prestige of this rum, bottle number one is known to be held within the collection of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, as a representative from the museum confirmed: ‘The first family received this wonderful gift commemorating their trip to Jamaica April 1982. The bottle that we have is #1 and bears the Great Seal of the United States’. The current locations of the remaining bottles are not known.

The President’s Reserve was one of over 600 rums being sold in the dedicated rum auction, which also featured a pair of Caroni casks that achieved £25,000 each.

Iain McClune, Director at Whisky Auctioneer, said: ‘We are beyond delighted to have had the J. Wray & Nephew President’s Reserve feature in our inaugural rum auction. We had high hopes for this stunning bottle but with so little sales history to reference it was difficult to predict how it might perform. I think it is fair to say that it has exceeded expectations, however the price achieved is more than deserving considering the historical significance and incredible rarity of this rum. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity that our global audience of rum collectors and connoisseurs recognised and responded to.

‘The record price is testament to the current interest in rare and collectable rums. Our inaugural rum auction has been well-timed to meet this demand and we are excited to see how our future rum auction plans help to nurture and grow what is fast becoming a worldwide movement.’

Ian Burrell, Global Rum Ambassador and founder of the world’s first and longest running rum festival, The UK Rumfest, said: ‘I’m extremely happy that rare rums, especially from Jamaica, are now starting to be appreciated by collectors worldwide. For too long these types of prices (£31,500) were only afforded to brandies and whiskies, so if you’re a collector, a rum lover and can afford it… then why not. Just don’t mix it with cola’.

Whisky Auctioneer are market leaders in offering a diverse range of exclusive release and specialist auctions alongside their regular monthly auctions. Their online platform has simplified the process of buying and selling rare and collectable spirits internationally and currently has a global audience of more than fifty countries. Details of their future Rum Auction plans will be announced shortly. Those wishing to sell rum should contact Whisky Auctioneer directly.

The auction ran from 10 May and closed on 20 May.
The listing for the J. Wray & Nephew President’s Reserve is here:

For more information on the auction or to register to participate please visit

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