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Velier Reveals Nomad Project - Travelling Pot Still In The Caribbeans

(Image Source: Edizioni Velier)


The "nomad among the barrels", also the name of a book authored by Velier's Luca Gargano (pictured above in Luca's hands), is closer to becoming a reality.

In the most recent round of selections of rums for bottling, we saw the debut of Velier's first ever bottling of Australian rum, Beenleigh, which we reviewed here, and also wrote a distillery deepdive here. During which, Luca mentions that he was inspired by Beenleigh's origin story - the distillery having taken over a floating distillation still on a boat called the SS Walrus, which would stop outside sugar plantations across Queensland to take on sugar and molasses harvested and processed by these sugar factories to produce rums and other alcohols.


Beenleigh Artisan Distillery | Heritage Beenleigh

Beenleigh's origins started with the SS Walrus, a travelling distillation still. (Image Source: Heritage Beenleigh)


This had set off discussions between Luca and longtime collaborator Capovilla, famous for his Grappa's, which eventually culminated into them working on creating a wandering pot still that would travel across the Caribbeans.

As far as technicalities go, Luca announced that by March 2023, this travelling pot still will have two containers, one housing a John Dore double retort pot still with an 800 litre capacity, with the other housing connectors for steam and water to support the rum's production.


(Image Source: Velier)


He outlines that the maiden year will see the floating pot still travel to Martinique, where it first be used by the Neisson Distillery. The distillery will provide the materials ready for distillation, which will then simply be plugged into the independent pot still by Velier and Capovilla, to produce rums which will then be left to mature onsite after distillation.


John Dore Pot Still, St Lucia Distilleries | Ian Glover | Flickr

The John Dore Double Retort Pot Still Velier plans to use. (Image Source: Flickr, Ian Glover)


Luca hopes that this experiment will enable fans to taste the difference between a pot still distillation (enabled by Velier's wandering still) and Neisson's classic Creole column still distillation, having held the raw ingredients and fermentation, and maturation constant. 

Thereafter, Velier plans to do the same with Saint James Distillery, also in Martinique, and subsequently head over to Guadeloupe and Antigua, and is even considering moving the still to Australia.

Luca highlights that his hope is that this nomadic pot still will help get around limitations distillery's face and enable them to produce rums beyond what their existing equipment setup will allow for.