Rivière du Mât Traditionnel Vieux

Review 2017-053 «Specifics» Rum • Distilled using a column still from molasses • 45.0% Alcohol • Matured in the tropics for 3-5 years in oak casks • Chill filtered? • Natural coloured? • Unsweetened • Rivière du Mât • Saint-Benoît • Île de la Réunion • Widely available • Price ±€40

STORY. Rivière du Mât is one of three distilleries, together with Savanna and Isautier, that still remains on the French Isle of Réunion. Named after a river on the Island, the distillery is located on the westside of the island where the great wide seas of the Indian ocean are found. The distillery offers a range of rums, either white or aged between 3 years and 12 years. They have currently two websites (one under construction) and are apparently undergoing a transformation as the bottle design on the new website is much more commercial and the range much smaller.


APPEARANCE. Traditional and simple design, colour of the contents is golden and could be natural coloured (not stated).

NOSE. It is sweet, but not sweetened, naturally sweet. This is gentle, round and well put together. I find ripe bananas, sugar cane sirup, nectarines on sirup, and caramelised apples with cinnamon. Lots of vanilla, which indicates that the cask had its influence. Then brown caramelized sugar, caramel, marshmallows, and a hint of spices with in particular ginger. Sweet cakes with apples, freshly made sour apple compote, citrus fruits (orange, grapefruit) and a hint of fresh pears. There is not something that stands out, everything is very well integrated in the whole. Water is not necessary.

TASTE. Again sweetish, but natural, with bananas, mango, nectarines, and apricots. It is a bit spicy, there are vanilla pods. I find the palate slightly less complex than the nose. A medium long finish, which is more spicy with ginger, lemon grass, baking powder. A perfect strength, so no water is needed.

VERDICT. All in all very good starter rum for those who do want to look further than the overly commercial and sugary rums that surround us. I guess it got something ‘agricole’, but I have to taste more French-style rums to make that conclusion. Recommended.

Recommended for those who want to look past the sugar-loaded rums that surround us.

Thanks to Norbert for the sample!

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