We must go to Barradères to find a paradise for all lovers of rum, authenticity and taste, and where you could set the fifth Indiana Jones movie. Barradères is only 25 km as the crow flies from Cavaillon, which is on the national road from Port-au-Prince to Les Cayes, but to get there it takes at least three hours with a good 4-wheel drive vehicle, along a dirt road that climbs the hills covered by tropical forest, then down to the Cavaillon’s river mouth, which enters the Caribbean Sea, in the beautiful bay of Barradères.
There is no restaurant, no bar, not even a pharmacy, but there are thirteen distilleries. Barradères lives in an atmosphere of the past, it seems to be in stuck in the 1800s; the pace of life is slow and everything appears to have value.
Faubert Casimir continues the work started by his father Duncan in 1979 and is considered the best distiller in the area. To get to his distillery you need to travel a path covered with Bagasse passing in a naturally organic banana tunnel. Faubert cultivates fifty hectares of Hawaii Blanche and Hawaii Rouge cane; these are un-hybridised soft canes. Hawaii Blanche resembles Otahiti canes, planted in 1800 in Martinique and visible in the Saint James Distillery Museum in Sainte Marie.
His plantation is intercropped with bananas, palms and especially limes (citron vert). The canes are harvested only when fully ripe, and thus the fields never remain completely devoid of vegetation. The bagasses are composted with other organic materials and used to fertilise new plantations.
The peculiarity of Casimir and other distillers in the area is that he adds some herbs or vegetable matter to pure cane juice during fermentation, to enhance the aromas. Casimire adds leaves of citronella, cinnamon and, in some batches, ginger.
HAITI the last frontier of RHUM!
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 species of un-hybridised sugar cane, chemical-free farming, spontaneous 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!