IT TAKES more than a drop of rain to keep Bundaberg Rum lovers away when the Bond Store launches a new product.
Diehard rum drinkers set up camp outside the distillery from as early as Friday afternoon to guarantee their spot in buying the first precious bottles of the Bundaberg 10-Year-Old Rum - Master Distillers' Collection.
Barry Bond and his entourage were the first to arrive in the rain at 2pm on Friday.
"There were 20 people here by Friday night, and Saturday night we swelled to about 50 people," he said.
Mr Bond said there "was not a boring moment" during the two-day wait.
"We've had a great time sharing the moment with friends and the Bundy Rum family," he said.
Mr Bond purchased the maximum limit of 31 bottles of the new release rum, at a whopping cost of $2480.
"I've saved hard - I'm a passionate collector," he said.
He managed to get his hands on the first bottle to have been released for public sale, but said he was not going to keep it for himself.
"I'm going to auction the bottle and all the proceeds will go to the flood appeal," he said.
Mr Bond said there were some "cashed-up" collectors who would be willing to pay any price for the bottle.
"Some bottles can fetch up to $3000," he said.
Bundaberg Distilling Company Bond Store brand manager Duncan Littler said he was "overwhelmed" by the response to the launch, which drew a crowd of more than 400 people.
"They are a bunch of amazing people who have a deep affinity for the brand," he said.
"The rain didn't dampen the mood."
Mr Littler said the 10-year-old rum was "crafted with real expertise" and very smooth on the palate.
Only 48,000 bottles had been released, and Mr Littler said he expected a complete sellout in only a couple of weeks.