“Ron means Rum in Spanish and who is the most famous Ron? Ron Jeremy of course, we should make Rum with him!”
The idea struck Jouko Laune and Olli Hietalahti, two advertising creatives from Finland, 10 years ago while relaxing with a bottle of beer after a long day at work. We invited Olli for a chat and asked him to share more details on what happened next.
Jouko sketched the bottle on the bar napkin and Ron de Jeremy was born.
They had just founded an ad agency at the time and didn’t have the time to work on the Rum. But the idea of Ron de Jeremy remained and some 5 years later they decided to make it happen.
Step one: Hey guys, anyone happens to have Ron Jeremy’s number?
“We got Ron's phone number from a friend who had once met him, so one night I simply called him.”
Ron agreed to meet and listen to their presentation.
"All kinds of things have been presented to me during my 35 years of professional career, but nobody came up with this. Let's do it!"
One of Ron Jeremy’s great uncles was a Rum-runner during the prohibition so the Rum has a place in his family history.
In search of the Rum
"From there on, we only had to figure how to make great Rum."
They got in touch with Luis Ayala
, one of the leading Rum experts in the world. “When we met with Luis, we spent hours with his collection of 900 Rum bottles.”
Together they decided on the flavour profile they wanted for Ron de Jeremy.
We wanted a nice Cuban style sipping rum that would also work wonders in cocktails.
All three of them headed to Panama to the legendary Rum-maker Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez who created Ron de Jeremy Reserva. “The signature long smooth taste is achieved through expertly blending and patiently aging hand-selected Rums from Barbados, Trinidad, Jamaica and Guyana.“
There's no Such Thing as Bad Publicity
Soon after the launch, somebody filed a complaint over the indecency to the liquor board of Manitoba, Canada. “The Board panicked and pulled Ron de Jeremy off the market. After two weeks they realized there's no legal reason for that and it was returned to the shelves. But it was enough for the media to pick it up and we got lots of press!”
The regulators in Finland made us remove Ron’s face from the label since seeing it “may lead to sex and alcoholism".
The only other incident was at their home market, Finland: “The regulators in Finland made us remove Ron’s face from the label since seeing it “may lead to sex and alcoholism”. Now Finland is the only country in the world where Ron de Jeremy has a different label.” Ron de Jeremy made the news once again and received a lot of support from the public.
Drink Rum the Ron way
“Ron loves his Rum and is very proud of the fact that it's a high-quality Rum. He likes to sip it straight, but when he makes himself a cocktail, Ron Sour is his favourite.”
Ron is also very active in promoting the Rum and has joined Rum tours in the USA, Europe and Australia.
We're just about to release Ron de Jeremy XO and we're working on a Gin we will call The Hedgehog Gin.
There’s more of Ron to come…
“We're just about to release absolutely wonderful Ron de Jeremy XO! The blend includes hand-selected pot and column still distilled super premium Rums, aged up to 15 years in American oak barrels previously used for Bourbon."
"We’re also working on a Ron Jeremy Gin - it will be called The Hedgehog Gin."
When they started, Jouko and Olli were determined to create high-quality spirits that they personally like and can be proud of: "Ron de Jeremy is a fun concept that people like. We want them to like it even more after they taste the Rum. And we are happy to see this happen again and again."