YOLO Rum Founder Phlip Guerin (Interview)

Published by The Rumlab ago about the Yolo company

YOLO Rum Founder Phlip Guerin (Interview) article cover image

1. Who is Philip Guerin?

I embarked upon my entrepreneurial journey the early of ten. I was fortunate to have a supportive family that encouraged my endeavors. We did not have a lot of money, but my parents instilled ethical philosophies for life. My competitive advantages have proven to be my resilience and ability to adapt amidst ever changing business climates, finding opportunities through adversity.

2. What does the rum mean for you?

What made you fall in love with rum and when did it happen? Rum embodies everything that is intriguing to me. I am a student of history and rum has a rich history. Rum has been influential in the development and independence of many of the countries in the Americas including the United States. For me it is profound that rum was once a political implement used to divide and today it has become a culturally uniting force, celebrating all cultures. “Rum Love” is a saying that we have adopted and encompasses our emotional relationship with rum. I fell in love with rum during my travels to Central America for volunteer service. I quickly discovered exotic rum brands, the tastes, the aromas and the inspiring experiences. I promptly became passionate about rum and set about to educate spirits enthusiasts (in the U.S.) about the magic of rum.

3. Three essential characteristics that define the rum according to your perspective?

– Rum has unique characteristics that make it the world’s most essential spirit

– The multiplicity of the spirit speaks to the genius of rum, as a sophisticated spectrum of flavor

– The versatility of rum is unparalleled. Sipped straight or mixed, drink recipes or cooking recipes, if you only own one spirit, get rum. Rum’s universality and reputation around the world has made it the international word for fun!

4. What is the most important contribution you have made in the rum industry?

Yolo Rum’s contribution to the rum world will be measured by our legacy. Being able to introduce “Don Pancho” Fernandez (world’s best ronero) to a population that would have never known of his brilliance and his gifts to humanity, is important. Through our digitally savvy strategies Yolo Rum has garnered international recognition. Yolo Rum is a catalyst for the advancement of an ancient industry slow to adapt to a rapidly evolving reality.

5. Benefits that the rum industry has given you?

Rum has opened; opportunities, doors, and most importantly my mind, which has been beneficial to my development to become a more enlightened person. I am grateful and humbled by all the people that have helped us along the way and I have much love (RUM LOVE) for them. We have also experienced some formidable resistance from within the industry and have overcome serious adversity. These experiences have fortified our steadfast resolve to advance our agenda and have only compelled us to succeed.

6. What´s another thing you are passionate about, in addition to rum?

I am passionate about philanthropy and helping the disadvantaged through personal service. I support dozens of charitable organizations and have directly impacted the lives of thousands of children in Central America by way of buying them textbooks and providing scholarships to advance their education for a long-term solution. I am truly blessed, and in a semi-selfish way whatever I give, I get back ten times from the universe. I would never known rum without these philanthropical experiences.

7. What is your favorite place for drinking rum?

My favorite place to enjoy rum is the place where I am enjoying rum. Rum and I are no strangers. I have a ritual and the “where” is a state of mind. After a satisfying day of accomplishment, I most enjoy pouring a glass of Yolo Rum Gold 10 Year, rolling the rum in the glass as I take a deep sniff, teasing a quench of my palate and inducing a state of tranquility. As I slowly move the glass to touch my lips, the smooth rum trickles over my tongue as I appreciate the eruption of flavor sensations and I slip into a trance of bliss.

8. Favorite drink + Recipe?

My favorite Yolo Rum recipe and favorite cocktail of all time is our custom created “Yolo Yummy”. Just imagine a perfect orange creamsicle with a secret ingredient. It is super easy to make too: 2 ounces of yolo Rum Gold, mix with 5 ounces cream soda (made with real cane sugar is best to compliment the rum), and a splash of fresh orange juice over a tall glass of ice (garnish with an orange slice). YUMMY!!!

9. Why is it important to educate the rum consumer?

It is important that the rum consumer can make educated decisions to grow the popularity of rum. Many times, there is a generic categorization of rum because of the mass-produced brands we have been forced to consume. Spirit consumers are more aware now than ever and this will eventually put rum on top shelf where it belongs.

10. Any tips to train the palate and taste a good premium rum?

When I sip rum, I first like to clean my palate with a swish and swallow of water. Then as I sip, I slightly arch my tongue to allow the rum to flow evenly across every taste zone and taste bud. I wait a few seconds for the flavors to bloom, savor the rum and the full experience then swallow.

11. How can rum contribute to improve the crisis in some countries?

The cultivation of sugar cane and production of rum can be a solution to sustainable social and environmental development. Progressive farming techniques and the incredible yield from cane offer clean alternatives to fossil fuels and the fiber from the stalks are being used to power steam turbines that power electrical generators with very little emissions. Plus, the production alcohol which has unlimited medical and industrial purposes. These industries are flourishing and creating not just agricultural jobs, but industrial, transportation and administrative jobs as well. These days the production of alcohol for hand sanitizer is critical, but equally important to me is rum, for mind sanitizer.

12. What are your next goals in the rum industry?

Our lofty goals include national distribution and advancing our marketing and branding agenda. Our brand stands alone from a marketing perspective thanks to our brand. YOLO is the acronym for; You Only Live Once. It is easy to remember and has become the international “cheers”. We are on a mission to tell people that we do not just have a catchy brand, we have the best rum in the world, and we have the 27 international awards to prove it.

13. Why is the role of the bartender important in the rum industry?

Bartenders are critical to how spirits are sold and the mental health of billions of people. Often under appreciated until someone needs a drink, bartenders are the leaders of a modernday renaissance. Bartenders have mastered tending to various tasks that are ever changing everyday and they get it done! Everyone knows that they are usually the resident expert when it comes to spirits, beer and wine, but what most don’t know is they politically deal with everyone, including; owners, managers, bar/restaurant staff, reps, heath inspectors, cops, customers, and of course the people who struggle with responsible consumption. I raise my glass to all career bartenders, and I tip fat too!

14. What is your advice for new generations in the rum industry?

I would advise anyone who goes into the rum business that they have two paths to ponder. One path is filled with bitterness, selfishness, greed and holding onto the illusion that only they “pimp” rum. The other path is filled with delight, goodwill, generosity and the vision of the eternal hope, success for all! Choose “RUM LOVE”!

15. How can people learn more about you?

For information about Yolo Rum please visit us at yolorum.com or find me on Linkedin.