Haiti is the last rum frontier and “Clairin” is the native rum. No one before Velier had ever discovered the inconceivable: there are now 49 running distilleries in the entire Caribbean and no less than 532 in Haiti alone! Small craft distilleries are scattered throughout the only Caribbean country that rebelled against slavery in 1804 and was shown the red card by the Western world. Today, Haiti is the only country that remains wonderfully “pure” with its original specie of un-hybridised sugar cane, chemical-free farming, wild fermentation with no yeasts, and archaic unfiltered distillation. Unexplored and surprising aromaticity, not only for cane distillates, they are the only natural rums in the world! Haiti began as Cinderella and became a Princess!
Clairin is Haiti’s best kept secret. Found in its most remote parts and drunk by its people, these are highly artisanal eaux-de-vie similar to white agricole rhums. While these bottlings are sourced from different distilleries, they all have one aspect in common: pure, well-balanced alcohols that evolve in the glass. Although production may be labor intensive, it’s a labor of love. Produced using native varieties of sugarcane without the use of herbicides or pesticides, the sugarcane is cut by hand and transported by ox carts or donkeys to the distillery where it’s pressed and fermented. Wild fermentations are possible due to the organic sugarcane juice and the natural yeasts within it. Whilst extremely basic, the distilleries are beautifully simple. The majority of the rustic column stills have a maximum of six plateaux which operate in continuous distillation, producing an alcohol between 70% and 80% vol. The reduction typically leads the Clairin to a gradation standard of 55% alcohol, which is called clairin 22.