Rivière du Mat Opus 5 - Rhum Agricole, Reunion

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JaRiMi
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Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:06 am

I had the opportunity to taste this interestingly different rhum at Bar Grotesk in central Helsinki, Finland. Despite of the name, there's nothing grotesque about this bar - it is, in fact, a fine establishment with a fabulous selection of exclusive rums and whiskies. But without further ado, lets get to the rhum.

Opus 5 is a rhum agricole (hey, I didn't invent this - the distillers call it rhum agricole..) from the French-governed island of Reunion. This webpage http://www.dugas.fr/rhum/reunion/rivier ... etails.htm will give you more details about this rhum vieux and the distillery, which apparently dates back to 1704.

Colour: Rich amber, quite dark in colour for a rum that is not extremely old (6 - 12 years).

Nose: Sweet, with rum-raisiny notes; rich and balanced. Gives a promise of a brandy-like rum, notes of vanilla in the background. Hmm, reminds me of some very different rums (Pussers' 15 comes to mind and also the El Dorado 15).

Taste: Wow, VERY different from the nose; Much drier flavour palette hits my palate immediately, this is NOT sweet! What an astonishing difference to the bouquet. Fairly strong flavours here; some almost smoky notes, if not even a touch of tar - leathery, keeping that dryness, some burned sugar and a hint of ginger and dry cognac. Slightly burning on the palate, very robust, reminiscent of an old anejo rhum that was made in the island of Madeira, but again, more balanced.

Finish:Waxy in quality towards the end, a touch of pine sap (not unlike those found in Rockley still Barbados rums, but milder), leaving a strong flavour of burned sugar to the mouth. Pleasant.

Comments: This is a fine rum in its own right; I would recommend this to any Islay whisky fans or to anyone who thinks all rums are just sugary-sweet drinks a la Zacapa; this outlines the vast flavour profile differences one can find in the world of rum (much like in whisky). If you are looking for an easy-going rum that simply allows one to enjoy the drink without any kicks, Opus 5 may disappoint you. On the other hand if you are looking for a rum that probably goes well with a robust cigar and is spicy, a bit more demanding and thought-evoking, Opus 5 will not let you down. Definitely worth a try. I am not a huge fan of rhum agricole style, but this is one of the finer products I have tasted.
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Count Silvio
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Sat Aug 16, 2008 9:49 am

Thank you for this review JaRiMi, it does seem interesting and could be a nice change for the sweet rums like you mentioned. It seems like this is a 6000 bottle limited edition as well and their website does not list it. Great find!

Here is a link to Babelfish translation of the page for those who do not understand French.
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Capn Jimbo
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Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:03 pm

And yet another bottle styled ala Pussers, Mahiki, et al... and properly called a rhum agricole, or better yet - inasmuch as this is an English speaking website - a "cane juice rum". The French and faux French may continue to use the former, lol.
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JaRiMi
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Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:04 pm

Capn Jimbo wrote:And yet another bottle styled ala Pussers, Mahiki, et al...
Yup, this bottle style seems indeed real popular these days.

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Count Silvio
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Sat Aug 16, 2008 4:41 pm

On that page you linked to there are several rums that use the same bottle. For instance the new 10 year old English Harbour, Saint Etienne Cuvée 2000 and Vieux, VSOP, ESB and most of the Riviere du Mat bottles. I wonder how many more use this design but I think it is going perhaps a little overboard...
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Capn Jimbo
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Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:19 pm

... but I think it is going perhaps a little overboard...
If you'll pardon the pun, yes, lol...
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