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. Here, too, the cultivation is absolutely organic. The extract is then concentrated cane juice with the steam produced with the bagasse, and the resulting syrup can be stored before fermentation for more than a year.
The Clairin produced is the result of the distillation of a mash of whole cane syrup, and not molasses; no sugar is produced.
This is the technique used by well no less than 432 distilleries, and is the most common in order to distil all year round.
The Chelo distillery sells locally and also sends its produce to Port-au-Prince, in 60-gallon drums (one gallon equals 3.75 litres).
TRIPLE “A” CLAIRIN PROTOCOL
For agricole rum, which is called Clairin in Haiti, to obtain a “Triple A” designation, it must be produced respecting the rules of the following protocol:
The varieties of sugar cane must be native and preferably un-hybridised.
The cultivation of sugar cane must be organic; it must follow traditional production techniques, without the use of synthetic chemicals (herbicides, fertilisers, fungicides etc.).
Harvesting must be done exclusively by hand.
Transportation of sugar cane from the fields to the distillery must be done by animals.
The fermentation of sugar cane juice must take place solely through the use of natural yeast, without the addition of industrial yeast and without diluting with water.
The fermentation should last at least 120 hours.
The distillation takes place within a maximum of 5 stills with copper plates in direct contact with the flame.
The spirit must be bottled at as soon as it comes out of the still can.
Bottling must take place in Haiti.