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!

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