Blog: Bottle splits in the RumX Community

In a bottle split, a bottle is shared among several enthusiasts by filling it into small sample bottles. As the group shares the cost of the (expensive) bottle, participants can enjoy even rare rums at a manageable price. So bottle splits are the most economical way to taste a wide range of different rums.

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Have you already participated in a RumX bottle split? What was your experience?

We appreciate any feedback to keep this great part of the community growing. :heart_eyes::tumbler_glass:
#RumIsForDrinking

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My first few bottle splits went smoothly. I split only one or two bottles and organization was no big issue. I use a steal funnel to fill the sample bottles which works fine for me.
Although I experienced the same as Rodolphe recently when I had less than 70 cl in a bottle, which made my share pretty small.

But then I tried a bigger bottle split with five bottles in parallel and my organizational skills came to a limit. Keeping track of who ordered which sample and which additional sample and packing everything correctly made me go nuts.

Obviously there are other users who are able to handle complex bottle splits. I’d appreciate if we could create a best practice for bottle splits with some templates on how to keep track of the organization.

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From the perspective of a forum user, I can hardly imagine my rum hobby without bottle splits. Being able to try so many new releases at a manageable price is incredible! :heart_eyes::tumbler_glass:

As an organizer, having too many bottle divisions open in parallel is indeed quite stressful.

Maybe the very experienced splitters can share their best practices. That would be awesome!
@DrDjango @Chris @Adrian @Jonas @Rodolphe @Mentalo @Stylo @kclo @RumTaTa

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Wie bei allen komplizierteren Dingen, hilft die gute Vorbereitung.
Am Abend vor dem Samplen lege Ich meistens schon alles bereit, also Flaschen, beschriftete Labels, Parafilm, beschriftete Umschläge, Packmaterial, Zusatzextras, usw.
Am Tag des Samples selbst setze Ich dann nur noch alles zusammen nachdem Ich die Flaschen abgefĂĽllt habe.
Zur Organisation helfen kleine abziehbare Sticker mit den Namen der Teilnehmer, so sortiere Ich meistens “paketweise”.

Achja und wie immer ist Excel dein Freund…

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The most important thing about bottle splits is definitely the chance to taste rums, a lot of rums :wink: you would otherwise not be able to taste. The cost is not the only issue but often we have limited bottles from festivals like the German Rum Festival (GRF) or which are sold out after seconds in every shop, so even if it was a “cheap” rum you couldn’t taste it because it’s not available anywhere.

Having sampled a 4-digit number of 5 cl samples myself I know where the limitations are. To avoid a wall of text I try to sum up the most important things for me when I think about a bottle split.

I am focused on splitting expensive rum I could otherwise not afford. The reason is not only the price, but also the cost-benefit factor. Since we do not sell samples at a profit I have to carefully calculate “overhead” cost into the sample price so the remaining cost for myself remains within the cl price of the rum. Parafilm and nice labels may be no absolute necessities, but the first makes samples stay fresh for a longer period of time (while rum bottles themselves are relatively airtight, sample bottles aren’t good contesters in this discipline), the second makes samples nice to look at as well and a 5 cl sample is often not consumed at once. Since the overhead cost (which is rising rapidly with inflation) is 1,50 € per bottle right now - and this cost doesn’t change with the price of the rum - the work you have to put into sampling isn’t really worth it with 20-30 € rums (even though there are examples that would be worthwhile to be shared) since the overhead cost is more than the cost of the rum in this case and I didn’t even include shipping in this observation.

In the past months I have also stopped buying and sharing rum just because it “sounds interesting” and I only bought and shared rum where I thought this rum must be great or it’s an absolute rarity you can’t find a second time so quickly. Examples are the Appleton Hearts 1984 which has good availability but is simply too expensive to “just buy it” but I didn’t want to miss to this one of the best rums of the year (my opinion) or the RomDeLuxe HGML 86% from the rum festival which is an absolute rarity in my eyes.
The fact that after splitting so many rums, buying and tasting or mixing so many rums, the amount of open bottles has risen to an almost 3-digit figure and the fact that life cost has risen a lot more than salaries (there’s a family with kids that comes first) has finally led to a different more focused type of splits I do today.

Some final tips for splits:

  • When you keep a small amount for yourself (like 5 cl) fill it in a sample bottle too. Such a low remaining amount in the original bottle will quickly lead to a change in taste from what it originally was.
  • Use a dosing feeder and don’t fill the sample bottle directly from the original bottle. You don’t want to spill your expensive rum.
  • When doing a split don’t be ashamed of adding the full cost you have for sample bottles, shipping etc. Not making a profit and gifting your work doesn’t mean you have to gift all raw materials :innocent:
  • The ideal storage conditions in my opinion are an absolutely dark place with no daylight (sorry, expensive rum isn’t for the glass cabinet :wink: ), humidity from 30-70% and a temperature of 15-25C. Not lower than 4C and not higher than 30C to avoid the rum touching the cap and also always keep the samples standing (of course you can’t do that during shipping, but a few days are no issue, I speak of long term storage).
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Meine Tipps:

  1. Allgemeines
  • Ich beschränke Flaschenteilungen meist auf AbfĂĽllungen, die mich interessieren aber von denen ich nicht unbedingt eine eigene Flasche haben möchte. Ggf kann ich nach der Kostprobe neu entscheiden, ob und zu welchem Preis ich eine eigene Flasche haben möchte.
  • Bei Pre-Splits (Verteilung vor Beschaffung) von voraussichtlich schnell vergriffenen und schwer zu beschaffenden Flaschen nutze die UnterstĂĽtzung anderer Communitymitglieder - das erhöht die Chance fĂĽr die erfolgreiche Beschaffung begehrter Flaschen signifikat. Die zusätzlichen Kosten fĂĽr den Versand zur “Sammelstelle” mĂĽssen auf den Samplepreis aufgeschlagen werden
  1. Zeitschiene
  • organisiere alle Materialien (Sampleflaschen, Label, Parafilm, Versandkartons, Verpackungsmaterial) vor der Flaschenteilung
  • im Fall von mehreren Flaschenteilungen starte diese möglichst zeitgleich
  • vermeide neue Flaschenteilungen solange du noch Flaschenteilungen offen (nicht abgeschlossen) hast
  1. DurchfĂĽhrung
  • dokumentiere den Verlauf der Flaschenteilung im Forum
    • ggf. Mindestmenge die geteilt werden muss
    • registrierte Teilnehmer
    • verbleibende Menge
  • dokumentiere den Verlauf nach der Aufteilung bzw. erreichen der Mindestmenge
    • Zahlungsaufforderung gesendet
    • Zahlung erhalten
    • gewĂĽnschte Versandart
    • ggf. gewĂĽnschte zusätzliche Samples
    • Versand vorbereitet
    • Versand abgeschlossen, ggf. Trackinginformationen bereitgestellt
  • AbfĂĽllung in Sampleflaschen
    • nimm dir Zeit, es wäre schade wenn etwas des kostbaren Flascheninhalts verschĂĽttet wird
    • Verwende einen Trichter und eine EinfĂĽllhilfe
    • verschlieĂźe die Flaschen gut
    • sorge fĂĽr eine sichere Verpackung
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My two cents here…
I’ve come across into splitting up to 10 bottles in parallel…I had to find some way to keep tracking of everything…
First and foremost, as an IT practitioner, I’ve set up an excel file to keep track of the “orders”, than I’ve acquired some transparent boxes to store the sample, as dealing with 10 bottles in only one afternoon after work was impossible…than, just a lot of patience and elbow grease :smiley:
The hardest part is finding all the materials: glass bottle, caps, parafilm, labels!

As per shipping, I had to use UPS as it provides the cheapest option, although several times I had to struggle with their poor customer service, as they were randomly charging me higher prices

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