Distilling Excellence into Rum Making with Yolo

Jessica Guerin, Francisco "Don Pancho" Fernandez, Phil Guerin

It’s our mission to set the new standard for what you expect from a glass of rum.

Is Rum Love enough? At Yolo, the answer is yes. From our unique origin story to a mission that sets us apart from every other rum brand out there, Yolo is poised to set a new standard of excellence when it comes to premium rum.

Mission Possible: Making the Best Rum in the World

Inspired by a love affair with the culture and tastes of the Caribbean, the seeds of what would become Yolo Rum were planted over the course of more than three dozen trips taken by our CEO and founder, Phil Guerin and his wife Jessica. Armed with the perfect name but lacking the right partners to make his dream of bringing the rich flavors of premium rum to world, Guerin turned to his wife, a successful marketing executive with deep connections to the key players in Central America that Yolo would need to succeed.

One of the players was Maestros Roneros and “master rum blender,” Francisco Jose Fernandez Perez, also known as “Don Pancho” Fernandez. A Cuban native, Don Pancho has dedicated more than 50 years to developing his knowledge of rum. In addition to studying under Ramon Fernandez Corrales, Don Pancho also graduated with degrees in Biochemistry and Microbiology. After graduating, Fernandez worked for many decades as the “Minister of Rum” for Fidel Castro, where he spearheaded research and development for Cuban rum brands. As such, Don Pancho’s knowledge and input were fundamental to the growth, development, and maturity of the Cuban rum industry during the 1970s and since.

Like Guerin, Don Pancho’s love of rum has led him on a rich journey that includes shaping and elevating the standard of what the rum industry could (and should) aspire to be. “[I wanted to create] a spirit that could compare to a fine scotch or whiskey,” Guerin said. “I explained [to Don Pancho] how popular those dark spirits are in America and that for people to understand [how dynamic premium rum is], it really has to come across with the smokiness of the American charred white oak. The tannins from these barrels provide a lot of the butterscotch and vanilla flavors that come across in American whiskey.”

After meeting Fernandez and sharing his vision for a premium blend that would wake Americans up to the premium experience that could be delivered by the right rum, Guerin and the team went to work. More than one year of research and development later and award-winning Yolo Rum was born. “Yolo is born from love in so many different ways…I truly believe it is the standard by which all rum should be held,” Guerin said. “[Yolo] is a proprietary blend. It’s our blend, nobody has this blend, nobody has this profile and that’s why we’re able to go out and win these awards; because there’s nothing like our rum out there,” he said. After finding the perfect balance of flavors, alcohol content, and experience, it was a matter of building a community to help spread the rum love.

Taking a Democratic Approach to Brand Building

At Yolo Rum, our passion for rum and one-of-a-kind experiences is based on so much more than club culture. That’s why, in June 2018 Yolo took the revolutionary step of inviting our supporters to become our investors. In a move that even the world’s largest liquor brands are mimicking, Yolo has turned its biggest advocates into its biggest assets by democratizing our ownership. Now with more than 1,100 brand ambassadors turned investors, the independent Yolo spirit is positioning itself to successfully compete in a market that is dominated by corporate conglomerates.

Live the Life You Want with Yolo Rum

Already the winner of more than a twenty international awards Yolo Rum is launching in new states and markets across the country. Find out how you can add a bit of Yolo to your life by subscribing to our newsletter or ordering your bottle online today!

Discover the Art of Aging Rum with Yolo

Does aging matter when it comes to rum? Get all of your questions about aged rum answered with Yolo.

In America, a country known for its love of dark liquors, namely whiskey and scotch, rum is often overlooked. Unlike other spirits like whiskey, vodka, gin, and even brandy, rum comes in a number of varieties. From color to taste, chances are there’s a lot more going on in your rum glass than meets the eye; find out what you’re missing with Yolo Rum.

Discover the Art of Rum Love with Yolo: Aging Rum

Whiskey, wine, and premium rum lovers all have one thing in common: they recognize that the flavors and nuances that can be found in a glass of their favorite spirit is entirely largely dependant on the aging process. Depending on how rum is distilled and aged, the spirit can be clear and colorless; caramel or gold-colored; and even dark brown or black. As is the case with whiskey, rum comes in light, gold, dark, spiced, and flavored blends; there are also location-specific styles of rum like cachaça or rhum agricole.

Rum aged in Oak barrels

How is Rum Aged?

One of the oldest distilled spirits in production, the use of fermented sugar cane or molasses distinguishes rum from other spirits. Regardless of how long they are aged, most rums are aged in wood casks. The variety of wood, whether the cask has been used to age other spirits, and climate all play significant roles in determining how long a rum is to be aged and the flavors that will be brought out in any given blend.

For example, have you ever seen a dark Caribbean rum aged for just three to five years while a rum of similar color and flavor may be aged for 10 years in North America? That’s because rums produced in tropical climates are generally aged for a shorter periods of time than those aged in cooler climates. Whiskey lovers may also notice a hint of spice or sweetness generally indicative of whiskey or bourbon in some darker rums as well; this is often because many rum distillers use old bourbon barrels for aging.

Aging light rum

Also called white or silver rum, light-bodied rum is one of the most common styles of rum found one shelves around the world. Similar to vodka in that it carries a lighter flavor profile, a high-quality silver rum will still present a buttery and slightly sweet flavor that goes well in a number of classic and modern cocktails. Generally silver or white rums are aged in stainless steel tanks and filtered but with the help of Don Pancho, Yolo Silver delivers a different kind of premium experience. Perfect for mixing, Yolo silver is crisp and mildly dry, making it the perfect secret ingredient to your at-home bar. Yolo Rum Silver is aged for 2 years in un-charred American White Oak barrels.

Aging Rum From Silver to Gold

Sometimes called gold or amber rums, these medium-bodied spirits are generally robust in flavor and surprisingly smooth. Yolo Rum Gold is aged more than ten years in charred American white oak barrels that not only give our rum a rich and tawny color, but an incredibly smooth and buttery taste. Trying Yolo Rum Gold truly gives rum connoisseurs the premium experience of sipping the finest rum in the world.

How strong is rum?

While there are overproof rums that reach 151 proof (and sometimes even higher) and flavored rums that are much less, most rums are bottled at around 80 proof (40% alcohol by volume). There are other differences in aging and nomenclature that also define rum for different countries. For example, in Mexico, rum is only required to be aged for eight months, while the Dominican Republic, Panama, and Venezuela require rum to be aged for at least two years.

Curious about how to harness rum magic into a cocktail? Some of our favorite recipes include:

Is Your Rum Love Silver or Gold?

Whether you like your rum neat or in a cocktail, there’s only one way to Yolo. Find the your favorite rum recipe or discover where to find Yolo near you by subscribing to our newsletter!

Learn About the Different Types of Rum

What do you know about the different styles of rum out there? Find out what makes rum unique from other drinks.

The drink we know today as rum actually originated in the colonial west Indies as a result of the Sugar Trade. Islands colonized by the English tend to produce strong dark rums made from molasses, while islands occupied by France typically produce rum directly from sugarcane juice. Islands colonized by the Spanish, meanwhile, are recognized for their smooth, buttery rums.

Discover the Different Types of Rum

Each rum producing nation choosing its own criteria for what qualifies as ‘rum.’ Nevertheless there are basic categories for different types of rum that are broadly accepted. They include:

Light Rums

Often filtered after aging, light rums can be completely colourless. Fortunately for rum aficionados, experimentation is something to be encouraged – cocktail recipes may need to be adjusted according to the individual brand of light rum being used.

Many medium bodied rums gain their coloring from the bourbon whiskey oak barrels used for the aging process. Extra filtering processes take the edge off the young rum, and lend it a soft golden hue, making it a particularly popular and affordable rum. Often times, these rums are aged for just 1 to 2 years, the rum is then filtered through a charcoal blend to soften it. However many light rums are not quite smooth enough for sipping, and they are best used as a spirit for mixing cocktails.

Dark Rums

Dark rums tend have a stronger, fuller flavor, than other kinds of rums. Part of what gives dark rums their unique flavor profile is a result of longer aging and the use of charred oak barrels. Jamaica is particularly well known for producing dark rums, the best of which are exceptionally smooth. Fine dark rums can also command a larger price, with higher-end bottles costing close to a thousand of dollars per bottle, if not more.

Overproof Rums

If you’re a fan or strong liquors, you’ll be excited to learn that the strongest of rums can be found at 160 proof (or even higher). Overproof rum is often the preferred drink for locals in the Caribbean, who combine the strong spirit with coconut water, water, or soda. Classically based on amber rums, but enhanced with various spices, overproof rums have become wildly popular around the world. They are also excellent in mixed cocktails and delicious when served neat with just an ice cube or two.

Other Types of Rums

While Caribbean islands are recognized sources of rum, there are other sugar-based drinks out there for the rum connoisseur. In Brazil, Cachaça is a popular drink made from fermented sugarcane juice. The liquor is a staple in many tropical drinks and is also called pinga, aguardente, and caninha among others. Flavored rums are also a popular staple drink in many countries.

Find Rum Love with Yolo Rum

If you’re a rum lover, you know that the best rums are aged rums, many of which rival the best whiskeys when it comes to complexity of flavor, smoothness, and drinkability. The culture and history of rum is as varied as that of wine or whiskey, while remaining one of the most versatile beverages in the world. You only live once! Discover rum love with Yolo by browsing through our favorite rum recipes!

Discover the History of Rum with Yolo Rum

There’s more to rum than just the types of rum to discover. Find out the history of rum!

If you’re a rum lover, you already know that each island in the Caribbean produces its own distinctive rums. Coinciding with the effects of colonization, the dawn of rum culture meant that each island’s rums varied in character, flavor, and even fermentation technique.

The History of Rum

While the exact origin of the name, ‘Rum,’ is disputed, historians and scholars agree that the drink was discovered in the 17th century on the colonized islands of the West Indies. They discovered that fermenting and distilling molasses produced alcohol creating the drink that we all know today as rum.

Different Kind of Rum Come from Different Caribbean Islands

Some distillers produce rum from sugarcane juice instead of molasses, a process that retains more of the sugarcane’s original flavors and often can comes at a higher price. While it should be noted that other parts of the world fermented their own sugar based drinks independently of the Caribbean. Nevertheless, it is Caribbean rum which has come to dominate the global marketplace, largely due to role created for it by European colonization in the 17th century.

Once discovered, rum spread quickly through the colonies, including: North America, Canada, India, and Australia. The well-known liquor even played a part in historical events. For example, in 1808, Australian mutineers seized control of the government when their governor attempted to regulate the use of rum in what was called the Rum Rebellion.

In North America, George Washington celebrated his 1789 inauguration with a barrel of Rum from Barbados. Rum was even included as a part of the daily rations given to British sailors until 1970. Some versions of the legend also state that after the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, the Royal Navy preserved the body of freshly deceased Admiral Nelson in a barrel of rum as his fleet made the voyage home.

Finding the Spirit of Rum in Modern Culture

Beyond its presence as a staple in tiki culture, rum has also influenced culture far beyond the cocktail world. The sugarcane based liquor has also influenced the history of the United States and the Americas, flowing through the politics and even cuisines of countries all the way from Brazil to Jamaica. Rum is also part of the beginning of modern mixology, with some of the original staples including rum punches and fruity cocktails called ‘grogs.’

Classic Rum Cocktails You Should Try

Given it’s tropical origins, it’s no surprise that many classic rum cocktails feature fruity, complex, and refreshing ingredients. Some signature rum cocktails to try on your next night out should include:

Introducing the Perfect Rum for Any Recipe

From light and refreshing cocktails to warm recipes that will keep those winter chills at bay, Yolo is the perfect addition to any rum recipe. Find out by trying out our favorite rum recipes today!

Rum Facts You Didn’t Know

As one of the oldest and most popular drinks in history, rum has shaped global economic activity, politics, and culture; all of which have shaped the role of rum in the modern world.

As one of the oldest and most popular drinks in the world, rum has origins spanning the globe.

Facts About Rum You Didn’t Know

The use of sugarcane in alcohol was perfected in the ancient Arab world.

While the early discovery of sugarcane is often attributed to the expeditions of Alexander the Great, whose military campaigns took his troops through Asia and Africa, but according to historians, it was Persians and Arabs who first perfected the process of refining of sugar in the seventh century. Much of what we now know about sugarcane’s origins and benefits come from their documentation of ancient studies and distillation techniques. In fact, it wasn’t until eleventh and twelfth centuries that sugar was introduced to the Mediterranean regions of Europe.

Rum Coctails

Empires were founded and built on the sugar trade.

For decades, the majority of the sugarcane remained in Arab territories, where they perfected the process of cultivating sugarcane for distribution throughout the rest of the world. But, as colonial powers expanded their reach into the Caribbean, European nations gained a new access point to the sugar trade. As the Portuguese began to explore the African Coast in the 15th century, they discovered that sugarcane cultivation was possible in their new territories, including the Madeira Islands, Cape Verde, and the Canary Islands. As more European countries began jumping at the chance to create a sugar market that was out of Persian control, a colonial legacy was also birthed.

In America’s infancy, rum was the drink of choice.

During the 1700s, rum was one of the most popular drinks of the time. According to historical accounts, American colonists consumed an average of 3.7 gallons a year per person. In fact, by the end of 1765, the amount of rum consumed by those on the East Coast jumped up to 4.8 gallons per person annually. In addition to have a role in various historical events, rum also played a role in politics. For example, when running for the House of Burgesses in Virginia in 1758, George Washington provided 28 gallons of rum and another 50 gallons of rum punch to voters.

Sailors actually loved rum.

Rum has been connected to the stereotype of the pirate since the 17th century, but it also had a presence on legal sailing vessels. From 1731 until 1970, sailors of the British Royal Navy were allotted a daily pint of rum “for each man and a half.” While their daily rations of rum decreased over time, it was seen as a necessary item to have while onboard a ship. According to “An Essay on the Most Effectual Means of Preserving the Health of Seamen,” first published in 1762 by Dr. James Lind, rum ‘provides the best and quickest restorative which a Sailor can have at Sea.’ Lind’s essay suggested sailors drink the rum in a punch featuring fruit juices and other refreshing flavors.

Celebrate Your Newfound Rum Knowledge with a Cocktail!

Satisfy your newfound rum love with the best rum in the world. With two flavorful varieties to choose from, find Yolo Rum near you today!

Yolo Rum 'Relaunch' a Success in Colorado

Yolo Rum just relaunched its award winning brand in the Colorado market with huge success. In just 30 days Yolo Rum gained over 200 new accounts with more than 300 cases placed throughout state.  With the help of our distribution company New Age Beverage, we are in more locations in the Mile High City than ever before. So if you have been looking for Yolo Rum now is your chance to go out and, GET SOME!

Check out our locations page and use our Yolocator to find Yolo Rum at a store or restaurant near you, who are now proudly selling and serving our 23 time international award winning rum.
You Only Live Once. Cheers!

Yolo Rum Sells Equity Shares on Wefunder, for Crowdfund

Yolo Rum aims to become the first “democracy powered” major spirits brand.

Yolo Rum is selling shares in pursuit of becoming the first “democracy powered” major spirit brand and company, according to, Philip Guerin, founder of Yolo Rum. By using a type of investment platform called a crowdfund, Yolo Rum is inviting the public to invest money and also help build the company’s notoriety. Guerin proudly states, “We have an amazing team, and adding hundreds of brand advocates that are vested through ownership is the definition of ‘democracy powered.'”

Follow the link to read more about the Yolo Rum Equity Crowdfund Campaign.

Yolo Rum Equity Crowdfund on Wefunder

The crowdfund campaign went live to the public, Wednesday, June 20th on the Wefunder platform.

Follow this link to go directly to the Yolo Rum Equity Crowdfund on Wefunder.


Bahama Bob's Rum Loaded Brewski for the Spring Party

Bahama Bob's Brewski Daiquiri 1cc

Bahama Bob Leonard’s Brewsky Daiquiri: The rum loaded brewski for your spring party

Our good friend Bahama Bob Leonard has done it once again with this easy, refreshing and oh so tasty cocktail recipe. Bahama Bob writes the beloved “Bahama Bob’s Rumstyles” blog, a treasured blog in the rum and spirits community. His blog that will take you through the Rum lifestyles of a fine group of people that enjoy the fun and pleasure of fine rums. Bahama Bob travels to distilleries, parties, and rum events to bring you the rumstyles of all those he comes in contact with.
See the full recipe for Bahama Bob’s Brewsky Daiquiri and story behind the cocktail here.

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