Clairin Sajous ‘Distillery Chelo’ Haitian Rum
Clairin Sajous Haitian Rum are from indigenous cane varieties, non-hybridized, with no chemistry in agriculture. Spontaneous fermentation with no yeast selected, archaic distillation, and no filtration. Haiti is the last frontier of rum and Clairin are the true rums of Haiti. In all the Caribbean there are 49 operating distilleries, in Haiti only there are 532. Producers are everywhere, often in the middle of the sugar cane fields, mills in wood, stills and fermentation vats that are usually made of oak or mango.
North of Port-au-Prince, in the Saint Michel de l’Attalaye, Michel Sajous built the distillery in the same place where his family has lived since 1960. The small distillery is located in the middle of the plantation of 30 hectares, planted with different varieties of cane prominent among which is the crystal, the last canes à bouche allowed in the AOC Rhum Martinique Agricole, and still cultivated by Neisson.
Big – it jumps out at you as your face approaches the glass. Pungent herbs, damp leaves, mulchy fruit skins, a hint of petrol, Play-Doh, pickled gherkins and sweet raw sugar cane juice.
Softer than the nose suggests, but still full on. Spicy cinnamon, tarragon, overripe bananas and squishy apples to start. Darker notes develop, with hints of liquorice and dark chocolate joined by even more green herbs.
Medium-long and very clean, with sweet green apples and green herbs fading quickly to anise and a touch of cinnamon spice.