Riviere du Mat XO

Riviere du Mat XO Rum Review by the fat rum pirate Riviere du Mat XO. Despite being founded way back in 1886 I have seen very little coverage of the rum/rhum which flies under the Riviere du Mat brand. For a reviewer it can be quite difficult to review numerous rums from the same distillery and come up with something new and interesting to say. However, today I am going to have to do a bit of digging to find out what Riviere du Mat is all about.

First up, quite why I acquired a sample of Riviere du Mat remains a mystery. A part of my brain says that I received a request a while back to review them. Other memories suggest another blogger mentioned the brand to me. Either way, I have Riviere du Mat XO up for review today, so lets see what they have to say for themselves.

First up I’m pleased to find they have a website. It is surprising how many rum producers do not have their own websites. Of course such things have to be taken with a pinch of salt as they can be full of “fairy tales” but they at least give some background on a brand.

First up Riviere du Mat is not just a brand. They are a distillery based on the island of Reunion. The island recently got a bit of coverage in the Football media. Despite being off the coast of Madagascar (admittedly still quite a distance away) they are still a  French Republic. As a result their domestic football teams are eligible to compete in French football tournaments. Recently the league winners of Reunion JS Saint Pierrroise reached the last 32 of the French equivalent of the FA Cup. This of course has nothing to do with rum but I thought I would share it anyway.

So lets get back on track. Riviere du Mat distillery located in the east in Saint-Benoit produces rum from molasses. At least I think they do……….

It all seems a little confused. One minute they are producing rum from molasses the next they are talking of  “fresh molasses”. Could that be sugar cane juice or syrup? Reading a review of Riviere du Mat over at the  The Lone Caner seemed to give a bit more authority on what is in this particular rum. If not all the range. Of all the review sites around I figured from the get go that Lance would be the most likely to have reviewed something a little left field like Riviere du Mat. He’s reviewed a few in actual fact.

If you want some more information on Riviere du Mat in general here is a link to their site. I will now concentrate on the actual rum I am reviewing today.

Riviere du Mat XO is a blend of molasses based rums aged in Limousin Oak (ex-Cognac barrels) for between 6 to 9 years. The average age is around 8 years. The rums were all distilled on a column still.Riviere du Mat XO Rum Review by the fat rum pirate

The nose is not quite what I was expecting – in fact its quite unique. Part Agricole part molasses, with a thick edge of vanilla.

It is surprisingly sweet – quite a lot of raisin and sultana on the nose alongside some white chocolate. toasted nuts and a fair bit of vanilla. There is a touch of Cognac about the nose. Which gives an added sweetness and a slight creaminess to it. It reminds me a little of some peaches and cream sweets – Campino I think they were called. A touch of yoghurt.

Beneath this is quite a nice layer of slightly smoky spices with some mild cinnamon. All in all the nose is very pleasant and quite complex.

Sipped Riviere du Mat XO is very different to a lot of rums I have tried. I can’t quite decide whether it is a molasses or Agricole based rum. It drinks very much like a mixture of the two. It is along the lines of Rhum JM XO in terms of refinement so its not a hugely grassy or vegetal rum. However it also has an added layer of sweetness which suggest molasses -raisins, banana and a touch of fresh coconut. It has a really Riviere du Mat XO Rum Review by the fat rum piratenice spicy profile – ginger, all spice, touch of nutmeg with a good weight of oak.

The finish isn’t hugely long and it does fade quite quickly. This would perhaps benefit from a slightly higher ABV.

It’s a very interesting and quite tasty rum all in all. It does take a bit time to get used to as it is quite distinctive. It is certainly a rum which I believe could get more fans than it currently has.

In many ways it’s a bit on the light side but for me it makes for a nice change of pace. It’s a bit like a dialled down Rhum J.M. XO with just a bit more sweetness rather than barrel influence. You definitely notice the Cognac.

Good stuff.





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2 comments on “Riviere du Mat XO

  1. Glad to see you finally got to review them. I suggested it a while back. You should try their grande reserve if you can. less sweet than the XO with much more leather and tobacco.

    • Ahh thanks I new someone mentioned them

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