While these bottlings are sourced from two different distilleries, they both have one aspect in common: pure, well-balanced alcohols that evolve in the glass. Although production may be labour intensive, it’s a labour of love. Produced using native varieties of sugarcane without the use of herbicides or pesticides, the sugarcane is cut by hand and transported by ox carts or donkeys to the distillery where it’s pressed and fermented. Wild fermentations are possible due to the organic sugarcane juice and the natural yeasts within it.
Whilst extremely basic, the distilleries are beautifully simple. The majority of the rustic column stills have a maximum of six plateaux which operate in continuous distillation, producing an alcohol between 70% and 80% vol. The reduction typically leads the Clairin to a gradation standard of 55% alcohol, which is called clairin 22.