fearlessly rebelling against tradition

Fearless Spiced Rum begins when the customs of the Caribbean collide with the hardy ingenuity of the Great Lakes. In the collision we find a rebellion against tradition, infusing an age-old Jamaican distilling process with birch bark and sassafras, unique botanicals found near the Great Lakes that thrive in harsh Midwest climates but create a warm, smooth finish.

be creative. be inspired. taste fearless.

the task

our favorite fearless task

The challenge was to take a drink’s strong associations with the Caribbean and find the connections to our home, Toledo, Ohio. We uncovered a deep history of rebelliousness, dashing characters and law breakers intent on having access to their spirits despite the laws of the 1920s. So, we raise a glass—to those we love, and also to those whose sense of adventure pushes them to risk it all to enjoy life’s pleasures.

the inspiration

out-rum-ing the law

In the 1920s, spirits enthusiasts had to get creative—and fearless—in skirting the law. Those tasked with transporting liquor became known as rum runners, and according to local history these bootleggers on water sped in wooden Dart boats around the Great Lakes, secretly delivering alcohol to distributors and speakeasies around the region.

Image Credit: Dart Boat Company

Darting to victory

We saw in this history an opportunity to reinvent rum’s classic associations with the nautical, moving the story from shipwrecks in the Atlantic to speedboats of the Great Lakes. The best among those boats was the Dart, its gleaming hulls carrying spirits faster than any other on the water at the time. Dart boats were first conceived in Lima, Ohio by the Indian Lake Boat Company, but drew the attention of investors (including Webb C. Hayes, II, grandson of President Rutherford B. Hayes), who moved the company to Toledo, Ohio, where Dart boat production began in earnest in a factory on the Maumee River.

the drink

bringing together two bodies of water

Working with Toledo Spirits’ head distiller Lukas Kummer, we infused the traditional Jamaican dunder process—a fermentation process steeped in history—with North American sensibilities. Birch bark and sassafras, botanicals that survive the cold climates of the North, feel distinctive, bringing the nostalgia of root beer to the tongue. Hints of Vietnamese cinnamon, blood orange, nutmeg and star anise provide notes full with the feeling of hygge.

Image Credit: OHLQ

the bottle

wrapping liquid gold in vintage lore

Our unboxing experience celebrates local lore and the thrill of the illicit. The Dart boat’s lines and curves inform the Fearless Spiced Rum’s jewel-toned label, and the dusty colors of vintage maps are recreated in the illustration of our rum running territory across the Maumee and Lake Erie. Together these elements create a ceremonious wrapping for the liquid gold we’ve been waiting six months to unveil.

the secret

creating a code that only the best can uncover

They weren’t called “runners” for nothing. To make a living out of skirting the law, you had to master the art of evasion—to know how to skillfully slide out of the pinch when the Coast Guard shined a light on you that could mean you never inhaled the salt-free lake air again.

If you were to comb the floor of the Great Lakes today, what might you discover that the rum runners of the 1920s left behind? We know you’re not planning any winter diving sessions. So we designed a less daunting task: decipher the message through the perforations and tell us what happened to the rum. Type what you discover in the box below and if you’re right, we might send you a teak charcuterie board made by our own captain, Bill Rossiter.

our friends are spirited

Fearless Spiced Rum was distilled in partnership with Toledo Spirits. Since 2013, Toledo Spirits has been dedicated to crafting small batch spirits with precision and care. They use old fashioned pot stills with innovative new methods and taste test every batch to ensure its integrity and consistency. Oh, and they're awesome!

Taste Fearless Responsibly

Being fearless is about taking risks that challenge the status quo, force you out of your comfort zone and overcome the habits that hold you back. It’s not about risking the safety of yourself or those around you. Always enjoy your Fearless pursuits responsibly.

come taste fearless

Join us as we unpack our Fearless concoctions and spend a day ideating about your brand strategy. Get ready to dive deep into some strategic thinking. We guarantee you will leave more passionate and stoked about your business opportunity.