Vieux Vaval & Casimir 2017 Velier 4 Year Old Single Cask / Whisky Live Paris 2021
Clairin is considered the national spirit of Haiti, and is an eaux-de-vie produced similarly to agricole rum, generally by a single local distiller using sugarcane from their village’s and adjoining fields. Largely secreted from the world for nearly 200 years, clairin was introduced to the world by Italian distributors, Velier, after Luca Gargano and Daniele Biondi discovered these distillers on at trip to Haiti in 2012.
The Arawaks distillery was founded by Danois Vaval in 1947 and is today run by his son, Fritz. It is located in Cavaillon and possesses 20 hectares of Madame Meuze sugarcane. It operates a continuous creole column still fitted with ten plates and a handmade condenser made from a gasoline can. The spirit is then bottled at its still strength of 50-55% ABV.
The Douglas Casimir distillery was established by Duncan Casimir in 1979 and is today run by his son, Faubert. He is considered the finest distiller in the Barradères region, a unique quirk of which is to add herbs or vegetable matter to pure cane juice during fermentation, to enhance the spirit’s aroma. Casimir adds citronella, cinnamon and occasionally ginger. Distillation takes place in a pot still using Hawaii Blanche and Hawaii Rouge cane.
This was distilled in 2017 and aged in Haiti for 4 years in Lastau Oloroso casks. Bottled for the Whisky Live event in Paris in 2021.
Velier was founded by Casimir Chaix in Genoa in 1947 as a wine and spirits importer and distributor. By the 1980s they were still a small family-company with less than ten staff. This all changed in 1986 when it was purchased by Luca Gargano, a former brand ambassador for Saint James who was at the time still in his twenties. Under his direction, they selected their first single cask whiskies in 1992, and their first rum in 1996. In the decades that followed, Velier have gone on to become one of the most collectible brands in the industry, and Gargano has positioned them as the one of the foremost authorities and bottlers of rum anywhere in the world.
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