To get to the Chelo distillery, it is necessary to take a long road from Portau-Prince to Gonaive and then Ennery and then one hour of dusty road. Arriving at Saint-Michel de l’Attalaye, on the central plateau at 450 meters above sea level, one finds a magnificent natural enclave surrounded by untouched mountains, safe from the cyclones of the North.
Chelo’s owner Michel Sajous is the third generation distiller and in 2004, he built a new small distillery in the middle of a 30 hectare plantation. Surrounding the distillery grows many different varieties of cane-- among which we rediscovered the long lost Cristalline variety.
Here the agriculture is absolutely organic. The harvest takes place between December and August, handcut with machetes. The canes are then transported to the distillery with help of mules with two loaded bags each. The precious juice of Cristalline ferments in 5 cuvees with only natural, wild yeasts for 5 to 7 days.
The distillate is made on a small traditional pot still composed of a 1,000 liter boiler in direct contact with a fire of bagasse, with a small column still on top with six copper plates. After 6 hours the distillate is between 50- 52% and is sent to Port-au-Prince to be bottled without any reduction. The label represents the life in Haiti, an illustration by the Haitian painter Michel. Clairin Sajous is unanimously considered one of the greatest expressions of rum from a bygone era.
Clairin Sajous is a pure expression of the Cristalline sugarcane growing on mountainous soil. Fine herbaceous notes come through with vibrant energy, a celebration of the perfection of distillation and raw material. -Importer's Notes