BUNDABERG Rum is set to launch one of its most expensive drops yet which will cost collectors almost $400 despite its retail price only being $47.99.
Confused? So are its collectors.
Instead of holding its usual launch event at the distillery, the Bundaberg Distilling Company has chosen to use an online lottery system to determine the purchasers of the Select Vat 315 bottles numbered under 1000.
The only catch is, the successful lottery winners will be forced to buy a minimum of 12 bottles of Bundaberg Rum products, which means collectors will have to fork out a minimum of almost $400 despite the special bottle only costing $47.99.
Cam Sage has been collecting the Bundaberg Rum special releases for his kids' inheritance, but said the minimum bottle buy "rules me out altogether".
"I think the lottery is a good idea - it's going to stop a lot of the early line-ups," he said.
"To have to pay for a minimum of 12 bottles, I think that's ridiculous."
Mr Sage, who is on a carer's pension, said he could not afford the minimum spend, particularly as it was so close to Christmas.
"It's just making it hard for the average person who struggles at the best of times to continue collecting," he said.
"If they're going to do this then I'm out - I'm not collecting anymore."
Collector Kai Ulbl has more than 200 bottles of rum in his possession, and said the online launch would exclude a number of local collectors.
"If you don't have a computer, it more or less rules you out," he said.
Mr Ulbl said there was quite a few of the older Bundaberg population who did not use computers but took collecting seriously.
"They don't get the emails so they don't know it's even coming," he said.
Bundaberg Distilling Company Bondstore manager Haydn Jobson said under the conditions of its producer wholesaler liquor licence, it was standard procedure that consumers were required to purchase a minimum of 12 bottles for any online transaction with the webstore.
"To sell a single bottle or fewer than 12 bottles online through the webstore would in fact be a breach of our own liquor licence," he said.
Mr Jobson said future launches at the distillery had not been ruled out.
"At the same time, this launch was about giving people across the country who are unable to travel to the distillery a chance to purchase a low numbered bottle online," he said.
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