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Hell or High Water Rum

Links Jouko, rechts Erik


”If everything is perfect all the time, there is no story.”

Margaret Atwood


Well, everything has not been perfect all the time. We do have quite a story. It tells of hardships and trouble. Persistence and determination. Finally, there is jail.

Let’s start from the beginning. In 2010 Jouko Laune and I took a deep breath and jumped into the unknown. With virtually no experience we founded a rum brand. It was all based on a little joke: if ron is the Spanish word for rum, then who is the most famous Ron in the world? Ron Jeremy!

One could say it was a gutsy move. Or one could say we were completely nuts. A little bit of both, I guess. When we started, we had two guiding principles: the brand can be hilarious, but the rum has to be serious. We were wise enough to seek out great people to assist us with the serious part. The rum was and is no laughing matter.

Then a whole lot of shit hit the fan…


…There was a fire that destroyed the production facility and burned our USA dreams down.

There was an earthquake. Backstabbing. Betrayal. Mistakes. Almost death. A dozen times we were on the verge of bankruptcy. We also smiled a lot and made lifelong friends. The stories are amazing. With an unhealthy dose of hopeless optimism, we stayed on the rollercoaster ride and kept on banging our heads against the wall. Somehow, we always survived. The brand kept growing and was voted Top Ten Trending Rum in 2018.

Then, on June 23, 2020, Ron Jeremy was charged with very serious crimes and arrested. The boogie nights were over. The brand based on humour was done. It was not fun anymore. 

After the initial shock and fearing bankruptcy once again, we decided to fight. We realized that after a decade of hard work we had built something of value: wonderful products and a great network of business friends and colleagues. 

We simply refuse to quit. We are entrepreneurs and love the rum world. So, we have created a new brand; whose heart and soul reflect our journey: two idiots stumbling from one hardship to another. You fall 7 times, get up 8. 

The rum is called Hell or High Water. 

For those not familiar with the expression “come Hell or High Water”, it means you are willing to do whatever it takes to overcome difficulties or obstacles. You never give up.

Hell or High Water is a rum for those who laugh in the face of adversity. The hopelessly optimistic. The quietly confident whose spirit will triumph. It is a rum blended with persistence and determination. Made smooth by the rough journey. 

Our own journey continues with Hell or High Water Rum. We hope you will join us and in your own life find the strength to face the hardships with determination and optimism. Life is hard for all of us but let’s keep smiling, let’s keep fighting, come Hell or High Water! 

Cheers, Olli Hietalahti & Jouko Laune




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