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Lithuanian rum sells out within hour at Taiwan liquor stores

Buyers line up to ‘unshelve liquor with New Taiwan dollars’

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Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation Chair Ting Yen-che holding a bottle of Lithuanian dark rum.

Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation Chair Ting Yen-che holding a bottle of Lithuanian dark rum. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — After all 1,800 bottles of Lithuanian rum available for pre-order sold out within 15 minutes, Taiwanese bought all the bottles of the liquor being sold at Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corporation (TTLC) vendors within an hour.

CNA reported that at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday (Feb. 1), which is Lunar New Year’s Day, dark rum produced by Lithuanian company MV Group Production became available at 12 TTLC stores across the country. Despite a limit of one bottle per person, the liquor sold out in under an hour, said TTLC Chair Ting Yen-che (丁彥哲).

“The people of Taiwan are truly adorable; they said they wanted to unshelve it with New Taiwan dollars,” Ting added.

According to Ting, the TTLC originally planned to distribute 6,000 of the 24,000 bottles it had bought from MV Group Production before the Lunar New Year, but the packaging factory worked hard and got ahead of schedule, allowing the TTLC to supply over 9,000 bottles by the deadline. Ting said he had instructed the company to postpone bulk orders and prioritize selling the rum to the public.

Since consumers in Taiwan have responded enthusiastically to the sale of Lithuanian rum, the TTLC plans to assess a long-term business partnership, said Ting. The company has already requested more information on MV Group Production’s main products.

In December, Taiwan purchased the 24,000 bottles from Lithuania to save them from being potentially blocked by Chinese customs amid China's sanctions on the Baltic state over its warming relations with Taiwan.

On Friday (Jan. 28), 1,800 bottles made available for pre-order at FamilyMart convenience stores sold out in 15 minutes. The online ordering system for FamilyMart kiosks reportedly crashed due to the massive amount of traffic.

Lithuanian rum sells out within hour at Taiwan liquor stores
FamliyMart kiosk system reportedly crashed before Lithuanian rum pre-orders sold out. (CNA photo)